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Gazan Christians travel to West Bank for Pope visit

A picture taken on May 4, 2014 shows Catholics receiving communion during a mass at the Holy Family Church in Gaza CityGaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Several hundred Christians from the Gaza Strip have been allowed to leave the besieged Palestinian territory to travel to the West Bank for Pope Francis’s upcoming visit, officials said Thursday. “Israel allowed around 650 Christians in Gaza to travel to the West Bank during the pope’s visit” this weekend, a security official told AFP . Dozens of pilgrims passed through the Erez border crossing Thursday morning, an AFP correspondent said, referring to the Israeli-controlled personnel crossing from the Strip, which is run by Islamist movement Hamas. Israel has only allowed Christians over 35 years of age to go.

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