Demonstrations in Gaza against Obama's visit
Published Wednesday 20/03/2013 (updated) 22/03/2013 13:01
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Palestinian protesters on Wednesday torched photos of US President Barack Obama and US flags in front of office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Gaza City.
The protest started as dozens marched from the Unknown Soldier statue toward the UN office waving Palestinian flags. Representatives of nationalist and Islamic factions joined the rally. The protesters chanted slogans against Obama’s visit to the region.
“We are out here today to say enough to the ongoing pressure on the Palestinian people and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority seeking to impose a unilateral settlement, and US preconditions forcing the PA to make more concessions,” said senior leader of the Islamic Jihad movement Khalid al-Batsh.
Obama’s visit, he added, does not serve the Palestinian people’s interests, but rather support the idea of a Jewish state, and maintains Israel’s military superiority.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Obama's visit “is not welcomed because it means giving legitimacy to occupation and showing US political support at the expense of Palestinian rights.”
Prominent leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Jamil Muzhir pointed out to a Palestinian consensus on opposing Obama’s visit to the region “as the visit will bring nothing new to the Palestinian people.”
“Obama will try to exert pressure on the Palestinian president to get him to resume US-backed negotiations.”
Several other leaders of Palestinian factions delivered speeches during the rally highlighting that Obama continues to side with Israel. “He will never be nonpartisan in his approach to the question of Palestine,” said Walid Al-Awad, a senior leader in the Palestinian People’s Party.