Paul McCartney visited the West Bank town of Bethlehem Wednesday, a day before his concert in Tel Aviv, saying he's carrying a message of peace for Israel and the Palestinians.

McCartney toured the Church of the Nativity, built over the traditional birthplace of Jesus. He took pictures with a small camera and lit two candles. He said they were for peace.

Outside the church, the 66-year-old former Beatle was asked to respond to criticism that his visit to Israel supports its occupation of the West Bank.

He said his visit showed that he wasn't playing favorites.

"I'm here to highlight the situation and to say that what we need is peace in this region, a two-state solution," McCartney said, referring to Israel and a Palestinian state.