Pope Francis plans to visit the Jewish state in March, his first visit there as head of the Catholic Church, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
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The Pope added that he planned to visit Israel and the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Francis said he dreams of embracing Skorka in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem to drive home the message that anti-Semitism is intolerable, according to Channel 2.
During an official visit to the Vatican last week, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein invited the pope to come to Israel and be his personal guest in the Knesset, The Times of Israel reported
The Pope replied: “I’ll come! I’ll come!”
Israeli President Shimon Peres also invited Francis to Israel in April, right after he was elected Pope.
Francis’ two immediate predecessors, Benedict XVI and John Paul II, visited the Holy Land in 2009 and 2000, respectively.
Francis’ first visit to Israel came in 1973. He arrived just as the Yom Kippur War broke out.
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