He’s here. Paul McCartney’s private plane landed at the Ben Gurion International Airport at 2 am, on Wednesday morning.
McCartney, who was accompanied by his entourage, passed through the VIP lounge at the airport and headed directly to a black vehicle which took him to Tel Aviv’s Dan Hotel, where he will reside during his stay in Israel.
McCartney arrived at the hotel with a swarm of police and security guards at his side. There, they applied a shrewd diversion tactic, causing some of photographers waiting for him to believe that he traveled in a white vehicle.
The former Beatle, in a striped sky blue shirt, gray pants and tennis shoes, was led into the hotel via the back entrance.
He was received by hotel staff and immediately went up to his suite while his associates tended to his belongings.
On Thursday, he will finally arrive at the Yarkon Park to perform for an estimated 50,000 people.
Message of peace
McCartney said he's carrying a message of peace for Israel and the Palestinians, rejecting criticism of his planned concert in Tel Aviv.
He toured the West Bank town of Bethlehem, visiting the Church of the Nativity, built over the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
The Beatles legend ducked into the fourth-century church through its low, narrow entrance, taking pictures with a small camera on a strap around his neck. He lit two long, tapered white candles in different parts of the church, saying each time that they were "for peace."
After posing for pictures with fans of all ages outside the fortress-like church, McCartney was asked to respond to criticism from some Palestinians that his visit to Israel supports its occupation of the West Bank.
He said his visit Wednesday to the West Bank showed he was not playing favorites. "I'm here to highlight the situation and to say that what we need is peace in this region, a two-state solution," he said, referring to Israel and a Palestinian state.
"I get criticized everywhere I go, but I don't listen to them," McCartney said. "I'm bringing a message of peace, and I think that's what the region needs."