Pope warns Gaza conflict could spread

VATICAN CITY Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:48pm IST

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - 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.

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 favour 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.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Barry Moody)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Children's corpses in Korean ferry reveal desperate attempts to escape.  Full Article 

Reconciliation Deal

Reconciliation Deal

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement.  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage