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One of miners upon release (archives)
Photo: AFP
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Photo: Ron Peled
Via Dolorosa
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO
Chilean miners prepare for Israel visit
Thirty-three men rescued from depth of Chilean mine to arrive in Holy Land in three weeks, tour Western Wall, Masada, Church of Holy Sepulcher and Yad Vashem. Closed sites to be avoided due to trauma
The 33 men rescued from the depths of a Chilean mine in October are expected to visit Israel in three weeks, and the Tourism Ministry has prepared an itinerary filled with attractions, excluding tours of closed places.

 

The visit is expected to be one of biggest media events in Israel in recent years. The Chilean miners and their spouses, accompanied by an entourage of journalists, will arrive in the Holy Land on February 23 for a seven-day visit at the invitation of Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and the Israeli government.

 

Due to the trauma they experienced – 68 days of uncertainty underground – the organizers have decided not to take them to closed sites like tunnels and caves.

 

According to the visit's itinerary, which was obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth, after a festive reception at Ben-Gurion Airport the miners will travel to an observation post on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

 

The next day they will visit Christian sites in Jerusalem's Old City, including Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and place a note in the Western Wall.

 

On the third day of the visit, the delegation will tour the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Israel Museum, as well as Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Market.

 

Meeting with Peres

On Saturday, they are scheduled to tour sites on the Mount of Olives, including Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, the Cenacle and David's Tomb. In the afternoon they will travel to Bethlehem for a tour of the Church of the Nativity.

 

On Sunday they will be greeted by President Shimon Peres at his Jerusalem residence before traveling to the Dead Sea. In the afternoon they will visit Masada and Nazareth.

 

On Monday they are expected to visit the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth and Christian holy sites near the Sea of Galilee.

 

The next day they will plant a tree for peace and coexistence. On the last day of the visit, they will tour Caesarea, Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The miners will leave the country after a farewell cocktail at a Tel Aviv hotel.

 

 

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