President Obama said: “I’ve been clear the Palestinian leaders have to condemn the ongoing attacks and stop incitement”.
He added that the “best way to reduce tensions and ensure Israel’s security” is to “continue working in concrete ways towards a two-state solution”.
Obama underlined that “peace is necessary, just and possible… it is the only way to ensure true and lasting security for Israelis and Palestinians and the only way to ensure that Israel remains a democratic Jewish state”.
Speaking on a two-state solution, he said it would: “finally bring Israelis the peace and normalcy to which they are entitled and Palestinians the sovereign state and dignity they deserve”, the President said.
He emphasised that “the bonds between the United States and Israel and our commitment to Israel’s security are unbreakable… and our security and military cooperation is unprecedented”.
The first keynote address of the conference was given by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who had met with President Obama in the White House earlier last week.
President Rivlin stated that while he and Obama have their differences, “the President’s commitment to a secure Israel is beyond any question”.
Later in his address, Rivlin said that he had visited “too many families who were victims of Palestinian terror” during the recent wave of violence, emphasising that “the State of Israel has the duty to defend its people and the IDF and its security service is doing its best”.
He said that “from time to time, the obvious should be said: especially in these days of dangerous terrorism, the IDF does everything in its power to keep the highest standards possible”.