Pope makes unscheduled stop at West Bank barrier

Pope makes unscheduled stop at West Bank barrier
Pope Francis waves upon his arrival at the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

BETHLEHEM, Palestinian Territories - Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop at Israel's West Bank barrier in Bethlehem on Sunday, drawing attention to the towering 8m-high concrete wall topped by a guard tower.

The 77-year-old pontiff was surrounded by anxious Palestinian security forces as he stepped out of his white jeep and moved towards the graffiti-covered wall to pray. He remained there for several minutes before climbing back aboard the vehicle.

The stop came as the pope, who in on a three-day visit to the Middle East, was on his way to Bethlehem to celebrate mass with 10,000 pilgrims in Manger Square.

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