''Palestinians feel that the pope's death is a great loss for the Palestinian cause, in particular, as he had relentlessly championed the cause of an independent and sovereign Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital,'' Aljazeera.Net correspondent in Palestine said.

The pope had also often expressed himself against the barrier being built by Israel along the West Bank. He used to say that bridges of peace rather than a wall should be built.


Israelis, too, have expressed their sadness over the death. The Israeli president and the government conveyed their condolences to all Christians in the world, said the correspondent on Sunday.


Pope John Paul II was one of the few popes to visit a Jewish synagogue. He also strengthened the relations between the Vatican and Israel and visited the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem in 2000.