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March 22, 2013 1:20 pm

Obama Hugs Netanyahu as he Departs Israel

avatar by Zach Pontz

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U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pose for photos at the PM's resident March 20, 2013.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel as the President of the United States has concluded after a whirlwind 52-hours. The president is now in Jordan. After a brief lunch meeting at Ben Gurion International Airport with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he was escorted to his plane by the two leaders. Most media and dignitaries weren’t on hand for the departure, as it was a muted affair because of heavy winds and dust storms.

In perhaps the most poignant moment of his trip, Obama hugged Netanyahu as they said goodbye. Obama also reserved a hug for US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and his children.

If Israel’s media is anything to go by, Obama’s visit was a rousing success. But now that he is gone, as one presenter on the country’s Channel 2 station pointed out, Israel is still left with the same problems it had before the trip.

For more on President Obama’s trip to Israel read about his arrival here; his press conference Wednesday with Prime Minister¬† Netanyahu here; his speech to the Israeli public here; his meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas here; and his final day in the Holy Land here.

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