Obama's call for Palestinian state receives mixed reactions from Israel

President Barack Obama delivers a policy speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center. Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

President Barack Obama delivered an appeal to Israelis to recognise that compromise with the Palestinian people would be necessary to achieve its lasting security, during his visit to the country.

Mr Obama also said it must take steps to reverse an "undertow" of the international isolation that is worsened by its failure to make peace with the Palestinians. However, the President's words were not welcomed by all who heard his speech in Jerusalem.

Reminding an audience of Israeli university students that the US is their country's most important ally, Mr Obama said the US will never back down on its commitment to Israel's defence, particularly against threats such as the ones posed by Iran and its nuclear programme.

ITV News Middle East Correspondent John Ray reports:

Israeli occupation of areas that the Palestinians claim for their own state must end, and progress toward creating that Palestinian state will help Israel's relations with the rest of the world, notably in its Arab-dominated neighbourhood, he said. Mr Obama added:

Earlier today, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to creating an independent Palestinian state saying "simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own".

Speaking at a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama said he had not lost hope in achieving a two-state solution. He added that the US remained "committed" to creating an independent Palestinian state.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - territories Israel captured in the 1967 war - but are ready for minor adjustments to accommodate some settlements closest to Israel.

Read: Pessimism greets Obama as he heads to Israel