Egypt’s Coptic pope breaks travel ban, visits Israel

Egypt’s state MENA news agency says the leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has traveled to Israel in the first visit of its kind in decades. Pope Tawadros II’s Thursday trip to Jerusalem came despite a ban on pilgrimages to Israel issued by his predecessor, the late Shenouda

III, who opposed the normalization of ties between the two countries. A 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty ended hostilities between the two neighbors and is cited by the U.S. as a model for peaceful coexistence in the region. But it failed to dent the animosity most Egyptians feel for Israel. Social media sites were filled with posts accusing Tawadros of betrayal. MENA says Tawadros traveled with a delegation of senior bishops to attend the funeral of a senior Coptic official in Jerusalem.



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