Obama: Independent Palestinian state vital for peace

President Barack Obama has urged Israel and Palestinians to seek a peaceful, two-state solution, calling for a "viable, independent Palestinian state".

Writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Obama states: "Just as the Israeli people have the right to live in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination".

President Barack Obama pictured at the White House earlier this week. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

"At the end of the day, we know where negotiations must lead - two states for two peoples

"The only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state."

His article follows growing tension in the region after the murder of a Palestinian teenager.