Appeal For Mid-East peace:From Pope's Platform
Pope Benedict XVI has used his traditional Christmas Midnight Mass to call for an end to "hatred and violence" in the Middle East.
Addressing a huge congregation at the Vatican's St Peter's Basilica, he appealed for a new understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.
Thousands of pilgrims celebrated the start of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, amid tight security.
The Pope will deliver his Christmas Day message from St Peter's later.
Hours after the Pope spoke, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni met to to discuss growing violence between Israel and militants in Gaza.
Top of the agenda was the end of the six-month ceasefire in Gaza, which the Egyptians have brokered
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