Ramallah, 8 Jumadil Awal 1434/19 March (MINA) – US helicopters flew across the West Bank on Monday (18/3) ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit later this week, according to Ma’an report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Tuesday morning.
        Three batches of helicopters arrived at the presidential heliport in Ramallah and the Abu Ammar heliport in Bethlehem, before heading toward Jordan.
        Palestinian security sources told Ma’an the helicopters were sent ahead of Obama’s visit for security purposes, but they declined to provide further details. 
        Obama’s trip to Israel comes shortly after the start of his second term, could offer an opportunity to repair a notoriously strained relationship with Netanyahu. But the trip is almost certain to raise expectations for the type of peace initiative that eluded Obama and his foreign policy team during his first four years in office.

       Obama has in the past warned against setting expectations too high for a breakthrough in stalled negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

       Obama will arrive in Israel on Wednesday. He is expected to meet President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday, and to visit the Nativity Church in Bethlehem on Friday, before heading to Jordan.(T/P05/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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