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Obama appeals to PA Prime Minister Fayyad for Illinois woman with daughters trapped in West Bank

JERUSALEM–While meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salim Fayyad on Wednesday, presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) appealed to him on behalf of a suburban Chicago woman who is fighting to get her four daughters back after their father refused to let them leave the West Bank.

While in Ramallah as part of a campaign swing to the Middle East and Europe, Obama, according to a statement, handed Fayyad a note and some background about the situation, “asking the Prime Minister to look into this issue.”

Colleen Davis Bargouthi, who lives in south suburban Midlothian, pressed Obama to visit her daughters, who live near Ramallah. The girls, ages 6 to 11 have been there since 2007when her husband, Yasser Shibli Bargouthi, took his family to the West Bank to visit relatives.

Obama made a specific request of the Palestinian Authority in the note. “I would ask that the Minister of Justice look into this case, and our Consul General will follow up.”

Obama also told Fayyad that the United States Counsel General in Jerusalem, Jake Walles, will be following up with him. ” We have also passed the same information to Walles and asked that he follow up on this issue,” the statement said.