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Israeli diplomat strike looms over Pope's visit to Holy Land

Published on Mar 20, 2014 10:22 PM

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - A strike by Israeli Foreign Ministry staff has caused diplomats to cancel trips to the Jewish state and could endanger a visit to the Holy Land by Pope Francis in May, union officials said.

Foreign Ministry staff called the strike on March 5 in a pay dispute and said they will not handle visits by foreign dignitaries, prompting Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende and other delegations to cancel trips to Israel this month.

Pope Francis is due to travel to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories at the end of May.

"We aren't handling that visit at all," said trade union chief Yair Frommer.

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