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Israel hopes Obama speech will lead to peace


JERUSALEM (AP) – JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel says it hopes that President Barack Obama's historic speech in Cairo will lead to a "new era of reconciliation" with the Arab world.

In its first reaction to the speech, the Israeli government said it shares Obama's hope that his outreach to the Muslim world will be "the beginning of the end" of conflict and lead to general Arab recognition of Israel.

The Israeli statement made no reference to Obama's calls for a settlement freeze in the West Bank or establishment of a future independent Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far rejected these American demands.

Israel said Thursday it will "do all it can" to widen regional peace, while preserving its security interests.

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