Pope Gives Palestinians Boost Of Support
Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel’s controversial separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts “unacceptable.” In an unscripted move, Francis arranged a meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian presidents at the Vatican next month. The meeting, while largely symbolic, shows how the pope has sought to transform his immensely popular appeal into a moral force for peace. On the second day of a three-day swing through the region, the pope arrived in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christianity, before heading to Israel for the final leg of his visit.
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