Pope Francis condemns killing of Palestinians near Gaza border

Pope Francis talks about Baptism at Wednesday Audience

"I am very anxious about the escalation of tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East, and about the spiral of violence which moves us ever further away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation", he said during his weekly audience at the Vatican. I repeat that using violence never brings peace. "War begets war, violence begets violence".

On Monday, at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and hundreds more injured by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the border.

Pope Francis asked all parties involved in the conflict and the whole worldwide community to renew their promise so that dialogue, justice and peace takes precedence.

Francis has on several occasions expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, indirectly criticizing US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital. He said that knowing Catholics in England & Wales and across the world remembered the people of Gaza and were praying for them was a great encouragement. This is a people who are both extremely vulnerable and deprived. Thousands of Palestinians are protesting near Gaza's border with Israel, as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. But in the message there are no direct quotes, which would sound condemnation of Israel's actions. Thus it grieves us greatly that violence has erupted on such a scale and that viciousness has been explored on what seems like a border marking mutual incomprehension.

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In the header of the message, Reuters said that Francis condemned (condemns) the killing in Gaza.

'These protests take place against the drastically deteriorating humanitarian situation which leaves little hope and continues to undermine a peaceful resolution. At the end of the Audience he sent out this cry for peace in the Holy Land.

'We pray for all those who suffer from this conflict and for the peace of Jerusalem'.

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