President Obama touches down in Israel

Obama waves from Air Force One

Obama waves from Air Force One

US President Barack Obama has arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on the presidential plane Air Force One, marking the beginning of his 50-hour whistlestop tour of Israel.

He was greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli head of protocol as well as a military honour guard, which played both national anthems.

Mr Obama was then introduced to a long line of dignitaries, including the two chief rabbis of the country and the Israeli cabinet. Mr Netanyahu gave a speech, as well as Mr Peres, who said: “we want you to feel at home, welcome home Mr President.” Mr Obama then spoke.

After the ceremonial greeting, Mr Obama is due to view an Iron Dome battery, which has been brought to the airport for his convenience.

He will then meet Mr Peres, followed by Mr Netanyahu, before a press conference this evening.

Last updated: 11:34am, March 20 2013