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Pope's plea for peace during Bethlehem visit

Pope Francis has made a plea for peace between Israel and the Palestinians during a visit to Bethlehem.

Francis travelled to Bethlehem by helicopter, becoming the first Pontiff to travel directly to the West Bank instead of entering via Israel.

Francis made an unscheduled stop at the concrete wall erected 10 years ago by Israel, which separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

The Pope spent several minutes praying in the shadow of an Israeli watchtower.

After six hours in the city, he was due to travel to Israel for a series of meetings before returning to the Vatican on Monday.

Francis is due to hold a mass at the Cenacle in Jerusalem, the traditional site of Jesus's Last Supper on Monday.

His Middle East tour is aimed at raising awareness of the exodus of Christians from the region in the face of increasing persecution.

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Location: Bethlehem
Location: Bethlehem
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