Obama helicopter grounded
President Barack Obama’s helicopter was grounded in Israel on Friday after a bout of strong winds blowing dust.
Israeli police told Reuters that Obama was forced to make the journey between Jerusalem to Bethlehem via motorcade instead of by helicopter. The route will go through Israel’s barrier with the West Bank, according to security sources.
The BBC reported that Obama went to the graves of Yad Vashem museum and he also went to the grave of Theodor Herzl, considered the founder of Zionism, and the grave of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
“The only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realisation of an independent and viable Palestine,” Obama said in front of a crowd of 2,000 young Israelis on Thursday.
He earlier urged Palestinians to enter talks with their Israeli counterparts.
“If we’re going to succeed, part of what we’re going to have to do is to get out of some of the formulas and habits that have blocked progress for so long,” Obama said. “Both sides are going to have to think anew.”
Obama later traveled via motorcade from Bethlehem to the airport in Tel Aviv, and he later flew to Jordan on Friday.
Obama’s helicopter woes comes just two days after his special steel-plated limousine, “The Beast,” broke down after a Secret Service official reportedly fueled the car with standard gasoline instead of diesel fuel. The limousine was eventually replaced.