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Obama Wraps Up Israel Trip After Visit To Bethlehem [VIDEO]

It’s been a day of visits to symbolic sites for President Barack Obama, as he wrapped up his trip to Israel before leaving for Jordan.

 President Barack Obama pays his respects in the Hall of Remembrance
President Barack Obama pays his respects in the Hall of Remembrance (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

After meeting for two hours over lunch with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama took his motorcade to Bethlehem in the West Bank to visit the Church of the Nativity. He’d been scheduled to take a helicopter there, but had to change plans because of high winds.

Amid heavy security, he toured the church with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. They stopped at the Grotto of the Nativity, which is said to stand where Jesus was born.

About 300 Palestinians and international pilgrims were gathered near the church, awaiting Obama’s arrival. But a group of protesters along the route held signs saying that the U.S. supports “Israeli injustice.” And at a nearby mosque, a Muslim religious official in Bethlehem made a speech to worshippers in which he asked, “America, where are your values?”

Obama and Netanyahu met again at the airport in Tel Aviv before Obama left for Jordan.

He had earlier laid wreaths at the graves of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995, and Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism.

And Obama toured the Yad Vashem (yad va-SHEM’) Holocaust memorial, saying it’s a reminder of “the righteous among the nations who refused to be bystanders.”

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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