Pope Francis has invited the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the Vatican to "pray for peace".
"In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace," the Pope said at an open-air Mass in Bethlehem.
"I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer," Pope Francis said, in what Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi described as an unprecedented papal initiative.
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