The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has reportedly enraged Palestinian Christian officials after he failed to visit Bethlehem and Nazareth during his first trip to the Holy Land.
During his tour the Most Reverend Justin Welby visited holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
He also visited Israel's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, and was given details of a distant Jewish relative he died in the Holocaust.
In a post on the micro-blogging site Twitter he described the experience as "too much for words".
However, a report in The Times today suggested Christian officials in Palestine had been incensed by his failure to visit Bethlehem and Nazareth, describing their treatment as an 'afterthought'.
One official reportedly told the newspaper: "It’s an outrage, and our people are furious. He’s a fool, the man did not go to Bethlehem and his excuse was that there was no time. Was his tour organised by the Israeli Ministry for Tourism?"
The Archbishop today took to Twitter in order to respond to the claims saying he had "wanted to stay longer and go further, see old friends in Bethlehem".
A Palestinian Christian spokeswoman also called for the Church of England to speak out for Christians in Palestine:
Kora Carmi, of the Kairos of Palestine Christian group, told the BBC: "When you have one group who is really being oppressed you have to have the courage to say they are being oppressed
"We're hoping that the new archbishop can be more vocal."Reuse content