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Israel diplomat strike could hinder pope visit
Published Friday 07/03/2014 (updated) 08/03/2014 19:30
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Pope Francis leads a mass at St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on
Jan. 1, 2014 (AFP Filippo Monteforte)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- A strike at Israel's foreign ministry could make Pope Francis's first trip to the Holy Land, set for May, "impossible," an Israeli diplomat said Friday.

"Imminent planned visits by foreign leaders, including (British Prime Minister) David Cameron next week or the Pope in May, will be complicated, and perhaps impossible" because of the strike which began Tuesday, Yigal Palmor told AFP.

"The leaders could come as tourists, but diplomats will not take care of logistics, protocol or the political dimension of these visits," said Palmor, who spoke as an employee and not in his capacity as ministry spokesman.

The Vatican said there were no plans to cancel the trip but confirmed the strike could result in "complications."

"An ongoing strike is posing a problem, and is likely to cause complications in preparing for the trip," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP.

"There's nothing more to it."

Pope Francis announced in January that he would make his first trip to the Holy Land, visiting Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem between May 24 and 26.

Francis said he would hold an "ecumenical meeting with all the representatives of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem" at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in East Jerusalem, built on the sites where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, buried and resurrected.

Francis was invited to visit the Holy Land by Israeli President Shimon Peres and President Mahmoud Abbas.

The 77-year-old pontiff has made many appeals for peace in the Middle East. During his meeting with Abbas, he called for a "just and lasting solution" to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
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1 ) Mel / USA
08/03/2014 20:32
Well,the good news is Francis WON'T have to shake hands with scum like Bibi Milikovsky Nathan Yahu,or the Moldovan baggage-handler-cum-bar-bouncer-grifter,who beats up 12 yr old boys, Avadickhead Lieberman! Francis could travel instead to Rafah/GAZA & follow the persecution path of Jesus,from Egypt thru' Gaza to Galilee.There he will meet REAL victims(including 1 million CHILDREN)suffering under Zionist persecution/bombing!There is NOTHING peaceful,or spiritually GOOD,about Zionism!

2 ) Benjamin / Ariel settlement
09/03/2014 19:01
Bring a vest israel fires at westerners too
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