Palestinians vandalize Obama billboard


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinians in Bethlehem vandalized a billboard bearing the image of President Obama.

The activists tore down the banner, drew swastikas on it and threw shoes at it, The Associated Press reported.

The billboard had been placed in Manger Square to garner Obama’s attention to the inequities in 3G telecommunication technology between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

The activists, who Ma’an reported represented a cross-section of Palestinian society, unveiled their own banner during Monday’s protest, which read, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment."

Obama is scheduled to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Friday as part of a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian Authority said it would allow anti-Obama protests if permission is requested in advance, Ma’an reported.

One activist, Munthir Amira, chairman of a youth center in the Aida refugee camp, told Ma’an, "In light of the anti-Palestinian U.S. position, Obama is a persona non grata in Bethlehem."

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