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Departure ceremony pared down

Obama’s farewell ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport will be pared down to a small affair without press, the Prime Minister’s Office now says.

The decision was taken because of the strong winds and dust clouds that are whipping the tarmac. The weather is also disrupting Obama’s travel plans, and it now seems he will not be able to fly by helicopter as planned from Bethlehem to the airport.

Meanwhile, Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu at the King David Hotel continues more than an hour after schedule. He was supposed to be in Bethlehem 40 minutes ago, but has not yet left Jerusalem.

The reason for the delay is not known.

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