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Fatah and Hamas officials announce unity deal
Bethlehem activists tear down Obama billboard
Published Monday 18/03/2013 (updated) 20/03/2013 16:28
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian activists in Bethlehem tore down a billboard of US President Barack Obama on Monday.

The billboard was set up in Bethlehem's Manger Square as part of a campaign to highlight that Palestinians have been deprived of the right to have 3G telecommunication technology because they compete with Israeli companies.

The activists, representing a cross-section of political parties, civil society organizations and the families of prisoners, tore down the poster and trampled on it, before unveiling a banner reading: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment."

The Palestinian Authority had earlier said it would not object to protests against Obama's visit if organizers obtain permission beforehand, and a Ma'an reporter said there were no PA security forces in Manger Square at the time of the demonstration.



"In light of the anti-Palestinian US position, Obama is a persona non grata in Bethlehem," Munthir Amira, chairman of a youth center in Aida refugee camp, told Ma'an.

"The US administration should realize that part of the Palestinian people's suffering results from the US pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian policies.

"It is time the US administration understands that the question of Palestine is the core of conflict in the region. Without a just solution to the question, there will be no stability in the region."

Obama is scheduled to arrive in the region on Wednesday and will meet President Abbas in Ramallah before visiting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Friday.

US army helicopters landed in both Ramallah and Bethlehem on Monday in preparation for security arrangements ahead of the visit.

The mood of Palestinians is generally skeptical regarding the visit, with activists and youth groups calling on the Palestinian public to join Ramallah demonstrations on Tuesday against the US administration's pro-Israeli policies.

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1 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
18/03/2013 17:55
Nonviolent protest is healthy for any free society. Obama will be there to listen and learn. That is the purpose of the trip.

2 ) Arnold / Canada
18/03/2013 18:57
That sign should be posted in every Arab and Muslim government building.

3 ) France / France
18/03/2013 21:45
"Obama will be there to listen and to learn" : this is exactly why most of Palestinians reject his visit . He is supposed to know since years what is really going on.!! And nobody forgot the veto he used to block resolution condemning colonisation.

4 ) ian / australia
18/03/2013 22:54
As political tacticians Palestinians suck. That vile "Argo" film (which won the Oscar) is currently showing Arabs (well, Persians...but like US audiences care) as a seething mass of scary, hysterical crazies. Defacing posters of Obama (with a Charles Manson-style swastika on the forehead, no less), which is about the ONLY Mid East news SURE to be reported in the US...will fit right in.

5 ) ian / australia
18/03/2013 23:00
#2 "That sign should be posted in every Arab and Muslim government building." Well, maybe Arnold, but what about just in EVERY government building currently in flagrant contravention of it?

6 ) Oliveland / Palestine
18/03/2013 23:41
THE BETHLEHEM GHETTO has been made possible by the generous support of the US Taxpayer Now thats a good sign
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