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Obama Gets Mixed Reception On Visit to Ramallah

With no clear peace initiatives to push, US President Barack Obama has received a mixed reception on his visit to Israel and the West Bank from Palestinians, writes Hazem Balousha.
U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Muqata Presidential Compound in Ramallah March 21, 2013.   REUTERS/Jason Reed   (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3F9UB
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While the visit of US President Barack Obama to Palestine and Israel attracted a great deal of Palestinian media attention, ordinary Palestinian people have been occupied with meeting the needs of their everyday life. The Palestinian political factions, on the other hand, have not been pleased with the American president’s visit and the negative position of the American administration toward the Palestinian cause.

Hamas expressed pessimism about Obama’s visit. Obama visited Ramallah, the city of Hamas’ rival, President Mahmoud Abbas. In a brief statement, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ prime minister, said, “We do not expect that Obama’s visit would lead to any breakthrough in the political equation on the ground. We do not believe that the American policy will help end the occupation. On the contrary, Washington seeks to consolidate and legalize settlements under the banner of peace.”

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