As Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to meet US President Donald Trump in Washington DC on Wednesday (15 February), White House officials have signalled they will not insist on a two-state solution with Palestine.

The two-state solution has always been central to any peace deal between Israel and Palestine and has been supported by successive US governments, Republicans and Democrats alike, for half a decade.

However, in a new shift of direction, the White House official said the US would no longer seek to dictate the terms of any agreement.

"A two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve," the official told AFP reporters on condition of anonymity.

"Peace is the goal, whether that 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."

Netanyahu, who is facing corruption charges at home, travelled to the US on Monday, according to the Jerusalem Post.

He is due to dine with Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, on Tuesday evening. He will meet Trump on Wednesday afternoon before rounding off his visit by meeting senior Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

The new US president is expected to foster a far friendlier approach with his Israeli counterpart than did his predecessor, Barack Obama.

However, Trump will need to tread carefully as any sign of withdrawing support for eventual Palestinian statehood will anger many in the Middle East, who the US draw on for support in the fight against Islamic State (Isis).

A source told Reuters that the Israel-Palestine conflict is a "high priority" for Trump and that he has given his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the job of negotiating a peace deal.

Israel is under growing international scrutiny after it passed a controversial law on 6 February to legalise settlements on Palestinian land. The bill was branded as an illegal land grab and a contravention of international law, but supporters celebrated the move as a "historic" day for Israel.