CNN is reporting that "Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama will be visiting the Palestinian Authority president in the West Bank next week, a Palestinian government official said Monday. Obama will be meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on July 23, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said."
The Ramallah visit comes as part of Obama's Mideast-Europe swing. The Israeli press and my Israel connected sources said Obama will be in Israel July 22-23. Ramallah is a short drive from Jerusalem, especially if part of an Israeli-sanctioned motorcade to zip through West Bank roadblocks. The stop makes sense; even though Obama is also visiting Jordan, a close U.S. ally--it would seem unusual for Obama to meet with Israeli leaders and not venture to the Palestinian West Bank.