After weeks of diplomatic and logistical preparations, US President Barack Obama landed in Israel on Wednesday for his first visit to the country as president. Obama arrived on Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport shortly after 12 pm.
Obama arrives in Israel
He was welcomed at the airport by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu The US president was all smiles as he embraced Netanyhu and President Peres, thanking them for the welcome. Watch Obama\’s visit live on Ynet.
After a ceremonial reception, Obama will visit an Iron Dome battery which was brought to the airport especially for the presidential visit. Among the dignitaries who will meet him there is former Defense Minister Amir Peretz who was a key figure in approving the missile defense system.
Obama will then board the Marine One helicopter and head towards Jerusalem. Later on Wednesday he is expected to meet with Peres at his official residence and have dinner with Netanyahu.
On Thursday the visiting president will spend most of the day in the Palestinian Authority before returning to Jerusalem where he is expected to speak before students at the International Convention Center. Then it\’s back to the Prsidential Residence for the official celebratory dinner with President Peres.
Friday\’s itinerary includes a visit to Yad Vashem and laying a wreath at former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin\’s gravesite. A new addition to the itinerary is a meeting with Opposition Leader Shelly Yachimovich after which Obama will head out to Bethlehem for a visit to the Church of the Nativity before returning to Ben Gurion Airport for a ceremonial send off.