Sunday 10 March 2013 - 10:19

Obama is persona non grata in Palestine: Palestinian activists

Story Code : 245742
Obama is persona non grata in Palestine: Palestinian activists
A group called “Palestinian For Dignity” called in a Saturday statement for nationwide protests against a planned visit by Obama to the Palestinian territories later this month.
“We call upon our people to demonstrate against receiving he who considers himself Israel’s No. 1 ally,” the group said.
    “We also call for demonstrations against the idea of returning to the negotiations [with Israel.”
Obama’s planned visit to the West Bank “comes at a time when our prisoners are on hunger strike and weeks after the death of prisoner Arafat Jaradat in interrogation cells,” the statement added.
“Palestinian For Dignity” also criticized Washington's no vote to the Palestinians’ bid for upgrading Palestine’s status to non-member observer at the UN in November last year.
Palestinian resistance groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, also asked Palestinians to prevent Obama from visiting al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Musheer al Masri, a Hamas representative in the al-Aqsa Mosque, said that Obama’s possible visit to the mosque will be a declaration of war on the Muslim world.
The democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh on Friday described the visit as a trap to undermine the Palestinian reconciliation process.
“We are convinced that Obama’s visit will not produce the necessary breakthrough for our people,” he said, addressing the Friday prayers in the Gaza Strip.
Haniyeh also said acting Palestinian Authority Chief, Mahmoud Abbas should “not fall into the trap of Obama’s visit to the region and shut the door to reconciliation.”
Obama’s visit “will focus on regional developments and will only address our cause in a way to undermine Palestinian national reconciliation efforts and to relaunch the absurd so-called negotiations” with Israel, Haniyeh said.
During a meeting with American Jewish community leaders at the White House on Thursday, Obama signaled that there would be no big Middle East peace initiative on the table during his trip to the occupied Palestinian territories.