In Honor of US President Joe Biden’s visit, Israeli and US flag are place interchangeably on the street outside the Israeli presidential residence in Jerusalem.
It is expected that Biden, will arrive Israeli and the Palestinians occupied territories on Wednesday, in his first tour of the region since he assumed office earlier last year.
He will journey alongside the
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during the four-day visit, which will end with a stop in Saudi Arabia.
However, the Palestinians didn’t see the US flag as a welcome object.
Like his predecessor, they say Biden’s policies as a president represent the US longstanding loyalty 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.
“He has done nothing to stop Israeli settlements, while home demolitions have gone up since he’s been office, and he hasn’t stopped the killings [of Palestinians] that are happening on an almost-daily basis,” she added.
“It has been a feature of US policy – pre-dating [former US President Donald] Trump and Biden – to do whatever it is that Israel wants,” said Buttu.
Biden will begin his visit from Israel, where he will meet Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Yair Lapid and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, among others.
On Friday, the 79-year-old president will visit occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem where he will hold talks with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, before flying to Saudi Arabia.
A statement by the White House on July 4th said the president was coming to “reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity”.
In the West Bank, the statement said, Biden would “consult with the Palestinian Authority and to reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people”.
Such statements, Palestinians say, are not representative of the real US agenda.
“I don’t think Biden’s visit is bringing anything new,” 34-year-old Jerusalem resident Omar Jamal said.
“As a Palestinian, I would expect more from the US government in terms of defending human rights of Palestinians since it claims it’s a democracy that caters for human rights,” he added.
Prior to Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his expression of efforts to push for normalisation between Israel and the Arab world in a Washington Post opinion piece, Quran told Al Jazeera he believed the US president was merely “buying time for authoritarian leaders and war criminals across the region”.
“Pushing for change would mean helping hold Israeli war criminals accountable at the International Criminal Court, ending weapons sales used to commit war crimes, and forcing Israel to stop its theft of Palestinian land.
“President Biden is doing none of the above.”
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