Benedict XVI urged “once again, in the name of God” an end to the violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Palestinian factions.
Benedict XVI urged "once again, in the name of God" an end to the violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Palestinian factions.
The Pope made these comments today after praying the midday Regina Caeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square and as Israel announced that it planned to intensify operations against Palestinian militants in Gaza, according to the Associated Press.
Israel and militants within Gaza have been exchanging fire for the last week. Israel has carried out airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza for five days, while Palestinian militants have launched more than 100 rockets into Israel.
Also, fighting between the rival Hamas and Fatah movements in Gaza killed at least 50 people in the past week.
The Holy Father said: "The fighting between Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and the rocket attacks against the inhabitants of nearby Israeli cities, which have provoked military intervention, are bringing about a bloody deterioration of the situation and causing dismay.
"Once again, in the name of God, I ask that an end be brought to this tragic violence, while to the suffering Palestinian and Israeli populations I desire to express my solidarity and assurance of my prayerful remembrance."
Benedict XVI continued: "I appeal to the sense of responsibility of all the Palestinian authorities that, in dialogue and firmness, they take up again the difficult path of understanding, neutralizing the violent.
"I invite the Israeli government to moderation and exhort the international community to multiply efforts for the relaunching of negotiations.
"May the Lord bring forth and sustain makers of peace!"