Francis meets with Abbas, and holds and open air Mass for 8,000 local Christians near Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. The Pope arrives in Bethlehem by helicopter from Jordan. Israel permits over 600 Christians from the Gaza Strip to travel to Bethlehem, while Palestinian authorities deploy 3,000 security forces in the city to supervise the visit. Abbas:
For the good of all, there is a need to intensify efforts and initiatives aimed at creating the conditions for a stable peace based on justice, on the recognition of the rights of every individual, and on mutual security.