The head of the catholic Church, Pope Francis, on Sunday responded to the ongoing conflict in Israel in a statement to çongregants, praying for the peace of Israel and appealing to an end in violence saying: “War is a failure. Every war is a failure.”
This followed a Saturday dawn surprise attack where Hamas was able to infiltrate the heavily surveilled and guarded Israeli borders through land, air and sea after launching more than 2000 rockets across Israel. The militants took both soldiers and civilians hostage in the attack after penetrating several Israeli towns and army bases.
Following the attacks by Hamas, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was at war and launched retaliatory attacks against the terrorist group in Gaza.
An Israeli official was also quoted by the media saying that the terrorists had been decimated in their hundreds. After the Sunday address to the congregants, Pope Francis appealed for peace in Israel. “Terrorism and war do not bring any solution, but only death and suffering for many innocent people,” said the Pope.
The Catholic head added that he was following the Israeli- Palestinian conflict ” with apprehension and sorrow” while expressing his solidarity with the victims.” The continuing bloodshed and declarations of war remind us once again of the urgent need to find a lasting and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian – Israeli conflict in this land,” said the Pope.
The violence has so far claimed over 500 casualties from Israel and Palestine, including victims from the Hamas attack and Israeli retaliation.
Earlier in a statement, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa who heads the Catholic Church in Jerusalem also called for a de- escalation of the conflict calling the violence ” very concerning due to its extension and intensity”. The Pope, in his Sunday address added that ” there will be peace in Israel and Palestine” and urged the two to dialogue as a way of creating ” paths of reconciliation and peace”.
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
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