RAMALLAH, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Life was normal at al-Manara Square in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah, the city in which United States President Barack Obama will visit on Thursday; a scheduled visit that will tackle the suspended fate of the historic conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The scene in the administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is contrary to what was the case when Obama won his first presidency term in 2009, where joy prevailed amid hope of a change pledged by President Obama, and Palestinian youths printed his picture on their shirts.
President Obama, who will arrive in Israel on Wednesday, is paying a three-day visit in the region. He will visit the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday, where he will hold separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and officials to discuss the fate of the stalled Mideast peace process.
Kifah Abu Khaled, a 48-year-old employee in the Palestinian government in Ramallah sounded unenthusiastic as he discussed Obama's visit with three of his friends in a coffee shop in the city's center. He said with a despaired voice that the Palestinians are not awaiting or expecting anything from Obama.
"He (Obama) doesn't have a magical solution to our cause; he won't be different from his previous presidents of the United States," said Khaled, as his other three friends agreed with what he said. Islam, one of them added "Basically he (Obama) comes to Israel and doesn't care about our situation."
Islam also said "We really hope that President Obama finds a fair American solution to our cause which remained unresolved for so many decades. I don't believe that Obama will bring this fair solution this time and there is a huge despair and frustration among us."
Several days before his arrival in the region, Obama said on Friday in an interview with Israeli television that he may not exert pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction in the Palestinian territories and he may not present a new initiative to push forward the stalled Mideast peace process.
His statements left negative impression among the Palestinians, who are exhausted by the Israeli occupation and by the construction of Israeli settlements on their lands. They never stopped demanding Israel to halt settlement in order to get back to the negotiations table.
Abu Jabber Tamimi, a store keeper in Ramallah center told Xinhua that America's interests are with Israel and not with the Palestinians, "therefore, America's president won't carry out any action of resolving the Palestinian cause that would tense the U.S. ties with Israel."
Posters for Obama were hanged on various buildings in the city of Ramallah without writing any welcoming slogan under it, but other slogans written under the posters complaining to Obama the Israeli practices and measures against the Palestinians and their lands.
Dima Zayed, a female student told Xinhua that the only thing Obama will say to the Palestinians "is to calm them down with his regular slogan of sticking to the principle of the two-state solution and seeking for achieving peace in the Middle East that ends the ongoing conflict."
Once he was elected, Obama reiterated that the file of peace between Israel and the Palestinians was apriority for him. In 2009, when he addressed his speech from Cairo University right after he was elected as a U.S. president, Obama said his country doesn't recognize the legitimacy of settlement.
Ali Ebeidat, a Palestinian activist in a youths group based in Ramallah, told Xinhua that Obama "is unwelcomed in Palestine as long as his policy and the policies of his country are biased to Israel and neglect the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people. "
He went on saying that the American stance against the Palestinian bid to the United Nations to upgrade the diplomatic representation of Palestine to a non-member observer state and the use of veto in the Security Council "can never be erased from the Palestinians minds."
Abu Khalil, in his late 60s, is another Palestinian who owns a cafe in the center of Ramallah who thinks that the United States " is only acting to help Israel and serve its interests," adding " the U.S. instead of helping the Palestinians, it carried out measures of punishing them."
George Jackman, chairman of the Palestinian Institution for Democratic Studies that is based in Ramallah told Xinhua that there is a significant frustration among the Palestinians towards the visit of President Obama to Palestine as well as towards his positions related to the peace process.
"The visit is too dangerous because it will have negative reflections on the difficult and complicated situation, where the peace process had remained unresolved since October 2010 and there are fears that the consequences of the visit would lead to more political vacuum and more violence," said Jackman.