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Vatican City - Pope Warns Gaza Conflict Could Spread

Published on: November 21, 2012 08:03 AM
By: Reuters
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Pope Benedict XVI leads his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican City, 21 November 2012. The head of the Catholic Church on 21 November appealed for a truce in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas Islamist group in the Gaza Strip. 'I feel the need to restate once again that hatred and violence are not the solution to problems. I also support the efforts of those who are trying to secure a truce and push negotiations,' Pope Benedict XVI said during the audience in Rome.  EPA/CLAUDIO PERIPope Benedict XVI leads his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican City, 21 November 2012. The head of the Catholic Church on 21 November appealed for a truce in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas Islamist group in the Gaza Strip. 'I feel the need to restate once again that hatred and violence are not the solution to problems. I also support the efforts of those who are trying to secure a truce and push negotiations,' Pope Benedict XVI said during the audience in Rome.  EPA/CLAUDIO PERI

Vatican City - Pope Benedict on Wednesday urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make “courageous decisions” to end the Gaza conflict, saying it risked spilling over into the rest of the Middle East.

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He told pilgrims and tourists at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square that he backed efforts to negotiate a ceasefire.

“I appeal to the authorities on both sides to take courageous decisions in favor of peace and bring an end to a conflict with negative repercussions on the entire Middle East, which is already tormented by too many conflicts and so in need of peace and reconciliation,” the pontiff said.

“I feel the need to once again say that hate and violence are not solutions to problems. I also encourage the efforts of those working for a truce and to promote negotiations,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on Wednesday trying to seal a Gaza truce, with Israel and Hamas still at odds over key terms. Israeli air strikes shook the enclave and Palestinian rockets struck across the border.

Israel has carried out more than 1,500 strikes since the offensive began. Medical officials in Gaza say 139 Palestinians, most of them civilians and including 34 children, have died.

Nearly 1,400 rockets have been fired into Israel, killing four civilians and a soldier, the Israeli military said.

The pope made a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2009 but did not visit Gaza. In September, he visited Lebanon, where he appealed for peace in the region, including an end to the civil war in Syria.


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1

 Nov 21, 2012 at 08:30 AM feinshmeker Says:

Well DOH!!! MR. Pope

2

 Nov 21, 2012 at 09:08 AM yaakov doe Says:

The Pope should travel to meet with the "Palestinian" leaders to discuss violence in the Moslem world. Maybe he can persuade the followers of their "religion of peace" to stop their violence since it's not much different than what his people did 1000+ years ago.

3

 Nov 21, 2012 at 09:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Mr. Pope, Israel wants to live in Peace, I know I lived there. However the arabs want to take over all the land and this is their goal and only goal. They can't get along with each other Hamas and the PLO so how do you think they are going to get along with others. They the arabs in Eretz Yisrael have been forcing out xristians for years or forcing to convert. Look how many xristians have left Bethlehem and that will tell you about the Moslem arabs. Another things for Arabs to work in their areas it is all done with bribes, taxes, more bribes, and more taxes

4

 Nov 21, 2012 at 09:40 AM Butterfly Says:

He did not ask them not to fire on Jerusalem!! I guess he forgot!! Too busy!!

5

 Nov 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM The Professor Says:

Perhaps the Pope is concerned that continued hostilities will make it difficult for pilgrims to visit their holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the next few weeks?
Why not appeal to Hamas to cease their fire in the name of the birth of Yushke, who also holds a revered status in their tradition?

As is said in French: "a nechtiger tog...."

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