Palestinians enraged by Biden’s visit to MidEast

2022-07-13 20:24:37
Palestinians enraged by Biden’s visit to MidEast

Thousands of Palestinians are set to stage a rally in the West Bank as US President Joe Biden is en route to the Israeli-occupied territories to kick off a controversial trip to the Middle East region.

Social media activists called on Palestinians to pour onto streets in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, located 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of al-Quds, at 6 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) on Thursday.

The activists added that the demonstrators will converge on al-Manara Square in a show of fierce opposition to the occupying Israeli regime and its arbitrary measures against the Palestinian nation.

say Biden’s policies as president – like his predecessors – represent the US’s longstanding allegiance to Israel at the expense of Palestinian freedom and dignity.

“He’s [Biden] not coming here for Palestinians, he doesn’t care about Palestinians,” Diana Buttu, analyst and former legal adviser to Palestinian negotiating teams, told Al Jazeera.

Biden’s visit risks being caught up in the anger over the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Al-Jazeera journalist who was shot dead on May 11 while covering an Israeli military operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, despite wearing a protective helmet and a bulletproof vest bearing the word “Press”.

The controversy especially risks overshadowing Biden’s visit because the highly respected Abu Akleh – who has become a Palestinian icon since her tragic death – was a US citizen.

The late journalist’s brother Anton Abu Akleh wrote in the letter on behalf of her family that the “United States has been skulking toward the erasure of any wrongdoing by Israeli forces” and – addressing Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken – “your administration’s engagement has served to whitewash Shireen’s killing and perpetuate impunity”.

This comes as Biden faces criticism from similar quarters for his visit to Saudi Arabia, a historic US partner the president once promised to make into a “pariah” because of its alleged role in the murder of exiled dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Biden declassified in February 2021 a US intelligence report concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “approved” the operation to “capture or kill” Khashoggi, then a Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist.

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