British supermodel Naomi Campbell arrived in Israel in her private jet on Sunday to celebrate her 42nd birthday.
Campbell, accompanied by her partner, the Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin, plus 15 close friends and six security personnel, is staying at Jerusalem’s famed King David Hotel.
On Sunday, Campbell visited the Western Wall and enjoyed a private tour of the Western Wall tunnels.
Campbell, wearing a white shirt and black sunglasses, was flanked by Palestinian guards and her own private security detail as she toured the biblical town of Bethlehem.
She lit candles in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, said Palestinian security officials. The church is built on the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born.
“As much traveling as I’ve done, I’ve never come here,” Campbell told a Palestinian television station. The supermodel said she hoped for peace. “I’m happy to be here. Weapons and war, greed and oil … I hope it all stops. I care about health, about good vibrations, not destruction,” she told the station.
Some of Campbell’s security guards wore black-and-white checkered Palestinian scarves, resembling tourists.
Later, Campbell celebrated her birthday at the nearby Casa Nova Palace Restaurant. Her group ate a traditional Palestinian meal of lamb and rice inside the restaurant, said an employee. She requested anonymity because Palestinian officials threatened to punish people speaking to reporters.
Outside, a small, shaggy black dog whom the employees called “shekel,” the name of Israel’s currency, barked at mustachioed plainclothes Palestinian security officials sitting at tables.
After the meal, her entourage sped away in a line of black sedans.
Campbell’s visit to Bethlehem initially sparked rumors that she was going to marry Doronin, because she left the hotel wearing a white dress.