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As Mideast trip nears end, Pope navigates minefield of symbols

Published on May 26, 2014 8:11 PM
 

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Pope Francis navigated the minefield of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and humbly bowed to kiss the hands of Holocaust survivors on Monday, the last day of a Mideast trip laden with bold personal gestures.

"Never again, Lord. Never again!" he said in the dimly lit Hall of Remembrance in the Yad Vashem Museum which commemorates six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War Two.

The fourth pope to visit Israel, he had earlier became the first to lay a wreath at the tomb of Theodor Herzl, seen as the founder of modern Zionism that led to Israel's foundation.

At the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he also made an unannounced stop at Israel's "Memorial to the Victims of Terror", the day after unexpectedly praying at a towering Israeli security wall that is despised by Palestinians.

 
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