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Billboard vandals in Bethlehem
Billboard vandals in Bethlehem 
  Photo: AP


Bethlehem: Swastikas on Obama billboard

Dozens of Bethlehem residents vandalize large billboard bearing image of US president, stress that Obama would not receive warm welcome during Friday visit

Elior Levy
Published: 03.18.13, 20:43 / Israel News

The Palestinian protest against the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama in Israel and the Palestinian Authority is gaining momentum: On Monday dozens of Bethlehem residents vandalized a large billboard bearing the image of the US president.


The young Palestinians were protesting over what they see as America's pro-Israel policy – they stressed that the president would not receive a warm welcome in Bethlehem.


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The protestors some of whom belong to organized Palestinian movements while others are relatives of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, convened just dozens of meters away from the Church of the Nativity, removed the billboard and then proceeded to drive away with the billboard.

משחיתים את הכרזה. היום בבית לחם (צילום: AP)

Swastika spray painted on billboard (Photo: AP)


They then spray painted the billboard with swastikas and a large – "X" over Obama's face. Incidentally, at the same time a convoy of American cars passed by. One of the protestors threw a shoe at the convoy and fled.


There has been a major Palestinian outcry against the proposed visit since the US president announced his intentions of including Ramallah and Bethlehem in his trip.

Obama's Israel itinerary
Obama's Israel itinerary

Last week Ramallah's main streets became filled with posters calling on Obama to leave his smartphone at home when visiting Ramallah seeing as Israel prevents the PA from utilizing the third-generation (3-G) cellular technology. Then unknown vandals marked an "X" over Obama's posters.


Palestinian elements opposed to the visit endorsed the protest claiming that the cellular issue is minor in comparison to the more pressing issues such as prisoners, settlements and US military support of Israel.



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