Date set for Chilean miners' Israel tour

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

A date has finally been set for the Chilean miners’ long-awaited visit to Israel.

Soon after “Los 33” were rescued from deep beneath the Atacama desert in October, having survived 69 days below the surface, Israel extended the offer of a “pilgrimage of thanks” to the Holy land.

The Israeli Tourism Minister, Stas Misezhnikov, said when he invited them on the all-expenses paid visit: "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.”

But because their story captured worldwide attention, the miners have been inundated with invitations, including to Disneyworld and to England for a Premier League football match.

They and their wives will finally have the opportunity to visit Israel on February 23, more than four months after they were rescued.

The ten-day trip will include meetings with religious leaders and tours of Bethlehem and other Christian holy sites.

Last updated: 4:55pm, February 1 2011