Chilean miners offered free Israel holiday

The Chilean miners have been invited to spend an “uplifting and extraordinary” Christmas in Israel.

The tourism minister, Stas Misezhnikov, has offered “Los 33” the chance to spend the holiday season in Israel as official guests.

The men, rescued last week from underneath the Atacama Desert, have been invited to see the Christian holy sites along with their partners. The trip would include free flights, accommodation and guided tours.

Mr Misezhnikov said: "Your bravery and strength of spirit, your great faith that helped you survive so long in the bowels of the earth, was an inspiration to us all.

“It would be a great honour for us to welcome you as our guests in the Holy Land.

“We would be pleased to offer you this experience, as our guests."

It follows the donation of more than £6,000 to each of the miners from a Chilean Jewish businessman.

Last updated: 8:21pm, October 18 2010