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Israel Gives 200-Year-Old Olive Tree to Pope

An olive tree more than 200 years old grown near Nazareth was sent as a gift from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Pope Benedict XVI.

The tree will be planted Wednesday during a ceremony at Viale Degli Ulivi, or Olive Tree Boulevard, in the Vatican Gardens.

According to Netanyahu, the tree symbolizes the blooming friendship between Israel and the Vatican, and it represents the aspiration to foster peace and brotherhood between peoples and religions. The gift follows the prime minister’s recent visit to the Vatican Museum.

Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael, the Jewish National Fund, selected and shipped the tree to Ravenna Port in Italy. JNF World Chairman Effi Stenzler will attend the ceremony.

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