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Pope’s two-day visit to Israel is ‘chiefly religious’

    Pope Francis’s two-day visit to the Holy Land is expected to go ahead, despite the strike at Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

    According to a source involved in planning the visit in May, the pope will land first in Jordan, travel to Bethlehem in the Palestinian territories and then spend a day in Jerusalem.

    “He will meet the leaders of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians, but this is chiefly a religious visit,” said the source.

    In Jerusalem Pope Francis will attend a private mass at the Cenacle, on Mount Zion, revered by Christians as the site of Jesus’s last supper.

    The building is also believed to contain the tomb of King David and there is opposition among strictly Orthodox Jews to an impending Israel-Vatican deal which will return its custodianship to the Franciscan religious order.

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