Pope Benedict XVI has taken part in a ceremony at Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem.This was one of the most important stops on the Pontiff’s tour of the Middle East, which observers describe as a chance to improve relations with the Muslim and Jewish communities. At Yad Vashem he met some Holocaust survivors and gave an address. He said: “As Bishop of Rome and successor of the Apostle Peter, I reaffirm, like my predecessor, that the church is committed to praying and working tirelessly to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again.” Earlier the Pope spoke out against anti-Semitism and repeated support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During his five-day stay in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Pontiff is due to visit a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank. Israeli police are carrying out their largest security operation in nearly a decade, since the visit by Pope John Paul II in 2000.