In written remarks to journalists yesterday, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi condemned the recent “unnecessary loss of human life” in an Israeli raid on a flotilla of Palestinian supporters and reiterated the Vatican's concern over the situation.
On Monday, Israeli soldiers raided a Turkish-backed aid flotilla of six vessels that were attempting to break a three-year Israeli naval blockade on the Gaza Strip. After the violent clash, nine Palestinian supporters were killed, according to the Associated Press.
The boats were carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
“It's a very painful fact, especially for the unnecessary loss of human life,” Fr. Lombardi said of yesterday's bloody conflict. “The situation is being followed in the Vatican with great attention and concern.”
“As is known,” he added, “the Holy See is always against the employment of violence – from wherever it may come – because it makes the search for peaceful solutions, the only forward-looking ones, ever more difficult.”
Referring to the Holy Father's upcoming apostolic visit to Cyprus from June 4-6, Fr. Lombardi said the “Pope, who will go within a few days to the Middle East, will not fail to propose again, with constancy, the message of peace.”
During his visit, Benedict XVI will release the “instrumentum laboris” or working document for the Synod of Bishops' Special Assembly for the Middle East that will take place in Rome next October.
Cyprus is considered to be a focal point for Christian efforts in the promotion of peace in the Middle East.