The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza has said that the visit of the US President is not going to make any "breakthrough" regarding political change on the ground. Ismail Haniyeh issued a statement to the media in which he added, "We do not see that American policy is helpful regarding bringing the Israeli occupation to an end."
Accusing the Americans of siding with Israel on every issue despite the international condemnation and illegality of its policies, Mr. Haniyeh accused the US administration of working to legalise the occupation and settlements.
"The Americans only try to persuade the Palestinians of the viability of the deceitful peace process in order to give a cover for the increasing Israeli violations against our rights," he insisted. "The Palestinian Authority [in Ramallah] has to recognise that its future is connected to its obligation to Palestinian national interests."
Regarding the relationship between his government in Gaza and Iran, which is criticised repeatedly by the PA and Fatah spokesmen, the Prime Minister was clear. "Despite the clear differences between us in several respects," he noted, "we still refuse to accept a policy which makes Iran the enemy of the Arabs instead of the real enemy which is Israel."
Barack Obama arrived in Ramallah on Thursday morning for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister. He was also due to meet a group of Palestinian youth in Al-Beerah, near Ramallah.
The US President will stay in Ramallah for just five hours before going back to Jerusalem for further meetings with Israeli officials. He is not expected to discuss any suggestions for the resumption of negotiations between the PA and Israel.