Aide turns state witness as Israeli PM visits Washington

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with coalition head and Likud parliament member David Amsalem and Likud parliament member Miki Zohar at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset on Feb. 26 2018. Credit Yonatan Sindel  Flash90

The news cast a shadow over talks that Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli politician of his generation, was due to hold later in the day with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the country Sunday for a five-day trip to the United States, which will include a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The US leader, with Mr Netanyahu at his side in the Oval Office on Monday, said he was considering making what would be his second visit to Jerusalem as president.

The plan was the United States' first priority after Trump announced in December his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which drew a storm of condemnation from the global community, including Washington's close allies.

The new embassy will initially be located in a USA consular building in Jerusalem al-Quds while Washington searches for "a permanent location". "I think we have a very good chance", he said.

Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas has said he will not accept a peace agreement brokered by Trump.

Trump's push to change or scrap Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and concerns over Tehran's foothold in Syria topped the agenda of his talks with Netanyahu, U.S. and Israeli officials said.

The prime minister also described Iran as the biggest challenge facing Israel and the Middle East.

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It came after police last month said they had sufficient evidence for his indictment for graft, fraud and breach of trust in two other cases.

"We want to know and we must know, what the U.S. position will be if we do enter into some wider confrontation with Iran", Michael Oren, a deputy Israeli cabinet minister and former ambassador to Washington, said on Sunday on Israel's Channel 13 TV. "Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions".

"It's practicing aggression everywhere, including on our own borders", Netanyahu told Trump. "That is our common challenge", said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu remains in the USA on Tuesday, where he is scheduled to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

On Friday, Netanyahu and his wife were questioned for the first time in the "case 4000". "We're looking at coming".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, angered by Trump's Jerusalem move, has refused to engage with the United States on Middle East peace, prompting Trump to delay the rollout of peace proposals.

A proposed State Department budget for the fiscal year starting October 1 said "the construction of a U.S. Embassy facility in Jerusalem will be among the Department's highest priority for capital security investments in FY 2018 and FY 2019". We're working on it very hard.

There has been little progress, however, on a broader peace deal with the Palestinians, who were dismayed with Trump's decision to move the embassy.

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