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Bethlehem Governor denies that map-shaped monument erasing Israel was removed for Obama's visit

Picture of monument removed from square in Bethlehem,
Ma'an independent News Agency, March 20, 2013
     "Bethlehem District Governor, Minister Abd Al-Fattah Hamail, and Mayor Vera Baboun, held a press conference yesterday to clarify details of what happened to the State Monument and why it was removed... Hamail said that it has been decided to redo the monument at the Nisan Square, known as 'Khaikhoun Square,' and place a monument symbolizing the Palestinian people's pursuit of freedom and peace next to the State Monument, according to the proposal submitted by the artist Akram Nastas. He also noted that the map engraved on the monument is the map of Palestine, which represents national symbolism and is implanted in the hearts of all Palestinians. He added that it is forbidden to infringe on the patriotism of even one Palestinian, whether he is a senior official or not. Hamail denied that Americans had any connection to the subject (i.e., the removal of the map), and said: 'Everyone knows that Americans do not dictate any Palestinian decisions, as the Americans fought until the last minute against the decision to appeal to the UN, and President Mahmoud Abbas rejected this intervention and achieved the UN resolution regarding the [Palestinian] state. This monument illustrates this policy, and no one can remove it, no matter what happens.'"
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