Pope Makes Surprise Stop to Pray At Bethlehem Separation Wall | TIME.com

Pope Francis touches the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

Pope Francis touches the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, on his way to celebrate a mass in Manger Square next to the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 25, 2014. Osservatore Romano—Reuters

The unscripted move cheers Palestinians already encouraged by pontiff’s support of State of Palestine, before moving on to Israel for a day

 

Pope Francis stopped his motorcade between scheduled events in Bethlehem on Sunday to pray before the massive concrete separation barrier that divides the Palestinian city from Israel, which erected the controversial wall a decade ago.

 

 

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In a gesture that unsettles Palestinians, Francis will also be the first pontiff to lay a wreath on the grave of Theodore Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement that envisioned a future state on the land hundreds of thousands of Arabs called home

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