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Pope warns bloodshed in Gaza hurts peace: ‘War begets war’

Pope Francis reads his message during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 16, 2018. Francis warned Wednesday that the latest spasm of violence in the Holy Land is only hurting chances for peace, and he called for revived efforts at dialogue and justice. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis warned Wednesday (May 16) that the latest spasm of violence in the Holy Land is only hurting chances for peace, and he called for revived efforts at dialogue and justice.

Francis said he was “very worried and pained” at the bloodshed and expressed his “great pain for the dead and wounded” and all those who suffer. Leading thousands of people in prayer at the end of his weekly general audience, he said the use of violence can never bring about peace.

“War begets war. Violence begets violence,” he said.

Francis didn’t single out either the Israelis or the Palestinians in his comments, instead urging all sides and the international community to “renew their commitment so that dialogue, justice and peace prevail.”

He added, though, a special greeting to Muslims who are celebrating Ramadan, saying: “May this privileged time of prayer and fasting help those to walk along the path of God, which is the path of peace.”

Francis’ appeal came after Israeli soldiers shot and killed 59 Palestinians and wounded hundreds in mass protests at the Gaza border, part of a weeks-long campaign to break a border blockade that Israel and Egypt imposed after Hamas took over Gaza by force in 2007. The latest bloodshed came on the same day the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem after relocating it from Tel Aviv. Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as a future capital.

Francis has previously responded to the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by urging respect for the status quo of the holy city. The Vatican has long sought an internationally guaranteed status for Jerusalem that safeguards its sacred character for Jews, Muslims and Christians.

The Holy See recognized the Palestinian state in 2015 and has long been viewed as being sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

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The Associated Press

4 Comments

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  • Senior Hamas Official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar on Gaza Protests:

    ‘This Is Not Peaceful Resistance, It Is Supported by Our Weapons’.

  • More horror and terror driven by the idiocy of religions. Francis should bite the bullet and call for an end to religion in all of its forms.

  • Calling for peace will get no play with today’s Christians. They lust for a holy war and have an eye toward ending the world ASAP.

  • “Francis’ appeal came after Israeli soldiers shot and killed 59 Palestinians”

    Where’s the part of the story where Hamas acknowledged that over 50 were Hamas terrorists intentionally trying to violate the Israeli border and that Israel dropped thousands of leaflets warning against violating the border.

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