Pope Francis prays at Bethlehem wall, calls for Middle East peace – BY PHILIP PULLELLA AND NOAH BROWNING BETHLEHEM, West Bank Sun May 25, 2014 6:46am EDT

Just Sayin'

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at May 25, 2014 5.33

(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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