Pope visits sites holy to both
Jews and Muslims in Israel

Pope Francis has visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray.

He bowed his head as he touched the wall in the same gesture used a day earlier to pray at the Israeli barrier surrounding the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem.

Francis spent a few minutes before the only remains of the biblical Second Temple and left a note inside an envelope in one of the cracks between the stones.

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When John Paul II visited in 2000, he left a note asking forgiveness for the suffering inflicted on Jews by Christians.

Pope Benedict XVI’s note prayed for peace for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike.

Earlier, Francis urged his “brother” Muslims to never abuse God’s name through violence as he opened the third and final day of his Middle East pilgrimage. The day began with a visit to the Dome of the Rock, the iconic shrine located at the third holiest spot in Islam.

Francis took off his shoes to step into the gold-topped dome, where Muslims believe Mohammed ascended to heaven.

The mosque complex is at the heart of the territorial and religious disputes between Israel and its Arab neighbours.