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Pope Calls For Peace During West Bank Visit

Pope Francis has called for an end to the "increasingly unacceptable" Palestinian-Israeli conflict during a visit to the West Bank.

Francis made the comments as he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem on May 25.

The Pope later celebrated an open-air Mass near the Church of the Nativity, during which he invited Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Vatican for a "heartfelt prayer" for peace.

As part of a three-day tour of the Middle East, Francis flew directly by helicopter from Jordan, becoming the first pontiff to travel directly to the West Bank rather than enter via Israel.

He will also travel to Tel Aviv and then Jerusalem where he will meet Bartholomew I, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP