CNA Staff, May 16, 2021 / 06:31 am
Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal Sunday for an end to surging violence in the Holy Land.
Speaking after the recitation of the Regina Coeli May 16, the pope expressed alarm at the Israel-Gaza conflict which has left more than 100 people dead, many of them children.
He said: “In these days, violent armed clashes between the Gaza Strip and Israel have taken hold, and risk degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction. Numerous people have been injured, and many innocents have died.”
“Among them there are also children, and this is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that one does not want to build the future, but wants to destroy it.”
The pope also lamented intercommunal violence involving Jews and Arabs within Israel.
He said: “Furthermore, the crescendo of hatred and violence that is affecting various cities in Israel is a serious wound to fraternity and peaceful coexistence among citizens, which will be difficult to heal if there is not an immediate opening to dialogue.”
“I ask myself: where will hatred and revenge lead? Do we really think we will build peace by destroying the other?”
He appealed for calm in the region, urging local leaders and the international community to help secure peace.