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Barcelona in Palestine today
Messi is likely to be among the players involved in workshops during the visit.
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Occupied Palestine, (AP) - Barcelona will take a break from its regular preseason soccer schedule to visit (Israel) and the West Bank this weekend on a two-day ''Peace Tour.''

The Spanish champions are to arrive in (Israel) on Saturday afternoon, hours after playing an exhibition game the night before at home against the Brazilian club Santos.

When the trip was first announced in February, Barcelona chairman Sandro Rosell said he hoped to center events around a match between Barcelona and a mixed Israeli-Palestinian team. But the proposed game was canceled after objections by Palestinian Football Association chairman Jibril Rajoub.

Instead, the team will hold workshops with Israeli and Palestinian children as well as meet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

Barcelona will be at the Dura Stadium near Hebron in the West Bank on Saturday to hold workshops and a series of mini-games in which dozens of Palestinian children will be given the opportunity to interact with the players.

The club said that all proceeds of the Peace Tour will be donated to the ''promotion of peace between Israelis and Palestinians through the values of sport.''

The visit comes a week after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Washington to relaunch peace talks that collapsed in 2008.

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z. murchie
Great initiative by Barcelona .May it results be of a positive nature
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