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Pope Francis wrapped up his Mideast pilgrimage Monday with a balancing act of symbolic and sometimes spontaneous gestures to press his call for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and friendship between Jews and Muslims in the land of Jesus’ birth. A day after he boosted Palestinian aspirations by praying at Israel’s security barrier surrounding Bethlehem, Francis honored Holocaust victims by kissing the hands of several survivors, and accepted Israel’s last-minute request to pray at a memorial to victims of suicide bombings and other attacks.



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