NEW YORK - A New York City pastor just back from two weeks ministering to Syrian refugees and Palestinians says they aren't expecting much from President Barack Obama's trip to the troubled region.
The Rev. William Devlin says he and a handful of friends delivered food and other items last week to some of the refugees flooding into Jordan to escape Syria's civil war. He says many of them had lost everything, including family members who'd been killed.
Devlin says his group also spent more than a week in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. But he says, "No one really was holding out any hope that the president's visit would change anything."
Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday. He heads to the West Bank Thursday and plans to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
In Bethlehem Monday, Palestinians tore down a banner bearing Obama's image, hurled shoes at it and spray painted it with swastikas.