(Reuters) – Pope Francis made a surprise stop at the hulking wall Palestinians see as a symbol of Israeli oppression on Sunday, minutes after begging both sides to end a conflict that he said was no longer acceptable.
In an image set to become one of the most emblematic of his trip to the holy land, a somber-looking Francis rested his forehead against the concrete structure that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and prayed silently as a child holding a Palestinian flag looked on.
He stood at a spot where someone had sprayed in red paint « Free Palestine ». Above his head was graffiti in broken English reading: « Bethlehem look like Warsaw Ghetto », comparing the Palestinian plight with that of the Jews under the Nazis.
Israel says the barrier, erected 10 years ago during a spate of Palestinian suicide bombings, is needed to secure its security. Palestinians see it as a bid…
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