Harper heads to Sea of Galilee, Hula Valley

Associated Press

JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be treated to some of the marvels of Israel today, including the Hula Valley and the Sea of Galilee.

Harper, fresh off his hero's welcome by Israeli worshippers at the Western Wall, is flying north in a military helicopter to take in the splendours of one of the country's most popular and picturesque tourist areas.

The Sea of Galilee attracts Christian pilgrims since the New Testament describes Jesus performing miracles on its shores. The Mount of Beatitudes on the Sea of Galilee's north shore marks the site where Jesus is believed to have given his famous "Sermon on the Mount."

Harper will later head to the Hula Valley where he'll visit a bird sanctuary soon to be renamed in his honour.

He will end the day in Tel Aviv, where he'll receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Tel Aviv. Harper then travels to Amman, Jordan, where he'll meet with the King of Jordan and visit a Syrian refugee camp.

Harper is on his inaugural visit to the Middle East. He's received an exceptionally warm welcome from Israeli officials, and everyday Israelis too, thanks to his full-throated support of the Jewish state.

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