Vatican City, Nov 27, 2022 / 08:25 am (CNA).
Pope Francis has spoken out against violence in the Holy Land, after one teenager died in a blast in Jerusalem and another teenager died in armed clashes in Palestine last week.
“Violence kills the future, shattering the lives of the young and weakening hopes for peace,” the pope said in an appeal at the end of his Sunday Angelus Nov. 27.
A 16-year-old Israeli boy was killed, and at least 14 people were injured, after two bombs exploded at bus stops on the outskirts of Jerusalem Nov. 23. Israeli authorities said the attacks appear to have been carried out by Palestinian militants, Reuters reported.
Late on Tuesday, Nov. 22, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in the city of Nablus in the Israeli occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.
Pope Francis said he is following with concern the “increase in violence and clashes” between Israel and Palestine, and called the twin blasts in Jerusalem “cowardly attacks.”
“Let us pray for these young men who died and for their families, especially their mothers,” Francis said. “I hope that the Israeli and Palestinian authorities will more readily take to heart the search for dialogue, building mutual trust, without which there will never be a peaceful solution in the Holy Land.”
After the Angelus, the pope also greeted participants of a Nov. 27 march to denounce sexual violence against women.
Sexual violence against women is “unfortunately a general and widespread reality everywhere and also used as a weapon of war,” he said. “Let us not tire of saying no to war, no to violence, yes to dialogue, yes to peace.”
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