President Barack Obama has emerged in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday for discussions with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The discussions between the two leaders are likely to be centred on the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. On Thursday morning, however, two Kassam rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel’s Sderot city, which did not lead to any Israeli casualties. Barack Obama was greeted by Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, who took him to his presidential compound for talks.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Barack Obama announced in Jerusalem that a central element of attaining a durable Middle Eastern peace must be a robust and safe Jewish State, the security concerns of which have been satisfied. Alongside the Jewish State, there must be a sovereign Palestinian State, remarked the US President. US President Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed their dedication to a two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict.
Political analysts have interpreted Barack Obama’s Israel trip as a trip meant to satisfy the Jewish people and to assure the Jewish public in Israel that Israel’s welfare is uppermost in his mind. The incumbent Israeli government, headed by PM Benjamin Netanyahu, has been deeply suspicious of Barack Obama’s commitment to protecting Israeli strategic and territorial goals vis-à-vis the Palestinian statehood issue. Barack Obama’s Israel trip was meant to woo the Jewish population considering that Israel and the US have been steadfast strategic allies for decades.
Meanwhile, an Israeli government official, as per the Jerusalem Post, has remarked that the government would be waiting to hear a denunciation of the Gaza rocket attacks by Mahmoud Abbas. Israel will also be eyeing closely whether Mahmoud Abbas discontinues his Fatah Party’s ‘unity talks’ with Hamas. As per the government official, Mahmoud Abbas cannot claim to be a peacemaker and simultaneously stay silent when rockets are being launched from Gaza.
The same official asserted that, during the Israel-Gaza conflict in November 2012, Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank had desisted from condemning the Hamas rocket attacks into Israel.
Barack Obama is expected to stay in Ramallah for a few hours but Palestinian expectations of Israel-Palestine peace due to this visit are minimal.