Sarah Palin in Jerusalem, March 19, 2011.
Sarah Palin in Jerusalem, March 19, 2011. Photo by Michal Fattal
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Leading U.S. Republican Sarah Palin began a private visit to Israel on Sunday and planned to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and tour holy sites.

Palin started off her tour of Israel at the Western Wall Tunnels, accompanied by Likud MK Danny Danon.

Palin, a 2008 vice presidential candidate, is a potential White House contender in 2012 and a leading light in the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement.

"As the world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our ally Israel," Palin, who flew in from India, said in a statement on her website.

Palin, who is keeping her supporters guessing on whether she will run for the presidency, made no comment to reporters on arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport for the two-day visit.

The former Alaska governor has used lucrative television, book and speaker deals to emerge as one of her party's biggest stars since running as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. During that campaign she was criticized for a lack of foreign policy expertise.

Palin is scheduled to have dinner with Netanyahu and his wife on Monday after visiting holy sites in Jerusalem, including Judaism's Western Wall.