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Palestinian youth to protest Obama visit

March 11, 2013 5:27 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2013 10:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian youth on Sunday called for demonstrations during the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama against any return to negotiations.

"We call on the masses of the Palestinian people to change this path and demonstrate against receiving he who considers Israel 'the closest ally in the region', and to refuse the return to futile negotiations," said the youth group Palestinians for Dignity.

Obama is expected to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah later in March.

"Despite the attempts of the Palestinian 'leadership' to ease the atmosphere, with statements about Obama pressuring the Israeli government on the issue of Palestinian political prisoners, or promises of petty US aid, however, the ultimate objectives of the visit are clear," the group said in a statement.

Obama's visit aims to relieve pressure on the Israeli government, to restrain the frustration of the Palestinian street and to bolster the Palestinian Authority "which after 20 years is becoming more and more disconnected from its people," the group said.

The youth group noted that US policy toward Israel had not changed under Obama, and Washington continued to finance the Israeli military.

"In addition, the US is committed to maintain Israel's security at the expense of the lives, land and livelihood of Palestinians; whether by justifying the massacres against Palestinians in Gaza, or through its silence concerning settlement expansion, destruction of homes, forcible transfer and other Israeli policies."

The group also accused the PLO of hypocrisy for receiving Obama in Ramallah and not Jerusalem, and for disregarding the role of Obama's administration in blocking Palestine's request for full UN membership while imposing US sanctions on institutions that recognize Palestine.

In September, Palestinians for Dignity organized a protest against European policies in Palestine, outside the Ramallah offices of the European mission training the Palestinian police.

Activists chanted "We don’t want euros and dollars, we want revolution and revolutionaries."

The group also participated in protests against a planned visit to Ramallah by Israel's vice premier Shaul Mofaz in July, a trip that was eventually cancelled.

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