President Barack Obama’s three-day trip to Israel did not get off to a good start. The president is visiting the country to reenforce America’s bond with Israel, but as soon as he got there his high-security limousine broke down in the middle of the highway in Tel Aviv, reports The Telegraph. Here’s what you need to know.
1. President Barack Obama’s Limo Broke Down in Israel
Obama’s limousine broke down on the first day of his three-day trip to Israel on the highway between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem on Wednesday morning. Some Israelis say the car trouble is payback for heavy traffic the president’s arrival caused.
“He is making my life a living hell,” said Jerusalemite Chana Lyss.
Road closures brought traffic to a halt in Jerusalem before the start of Passover, the busiest shopping holiday of the year.
2. The Driver May Have Put Gas Instead of Diesel in the Engine
The Secret Service said it did not know why the car broke down, but reports are saying that the limo driver may have accidentally put gasoline in the car, rather than diesel fuel.
3. The Limo is Known as The Beast
Obama’s heavily armored limo is known at The Beast for its durable build in the face of potential attacks. The car’s specifications are confidential, but it is known to have a special night vision system concealed in a secret location, is sealed against a biochemical attack and carries a blood bank of the president’s blood type stowed in the boot.
4. The Malfunction Wasn’t the Only Problem in Israel for Obama
As if arriving to Israel with a malfunctioning car wasn’t enough, Obama’s visit was made a bit more awkward after reports surfaced that a tree gifted to Israeli president Shimon Peres and planted by the president needed to be dug back up. To comply with the Israeli ministry of agriculture rules, gifts given to the president that come from abroad must undergo checks. Initial reports said that the tree was already uprooted, but it remains in place–for now. If the tree passes inspection, it will get replanted.
5. Obama is Visiting to Strengthen America’s Bond with Israel
Obama is making his first presidential trip to Israel to strengthen the U.S.-Israeli bond. The President visited Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to mend their shaky relationship and to reassure Israelis that he is committed to their security.
“Across this region the winds of change bring both promise and peril,” Obama said during an arrival ceremony. “So I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors.”