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White House official: Trump might not pursue two-state solution in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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A picture taken from the southern Israel-Gaza Strip border on Feb. 7, 2017 shows buildings in the Gaza Strip behind a separation wall built by Israel. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as president Wednesday, a senior White House official told reporters that the administration might not pursue a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The United States has long held that a two-state solution to conflict — in which separate Israeli and Palestinian states exist side by side — would be a means to achieve peace. The United Nations, the Palestinian Authority and Israel have also expressed support for a two-state solution to the conflict; however, negotiations have broken down over issues such as where the border would lie and claims to Jerusalem from both sides.

But according to multiple reports, an unnamed senior White House official told reporters late Tuesday that the Trump administration might not pursue such a solution.

"A two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not our goal that anybody wants to achieve," the senior White House official said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The official said that a two-state solution could "maybe” or “maybe not" bring about peace.

"It's something the two sides have to agree to," the official said. "It's not for us to impose that vision."

"Peace is the goal, whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution, if that's what the parties want, or something else. If that's what the parties want, we're going to help them," the official added.

Israel, an ally of the United States, often had a tense relationship with former President Barack Obama’s administration, such as when the United States did not block the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 in December, which demanded that Israel cease construction of settlements in land claimed by the Palestinians.

At the time, Trump indicated that his administration would take a different approach to U.S.-Israel relations. Thus far, the president and Netanyahu have appeared to enjoy a cordial relationship.

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