“May weapons be silenced, because arms can never obtain security and stability. Rather, they only succeed in destroying any hope for peace.”
Pope Francis launched that appeal on Sunday, as he prayed for peace in the Holy Land.
Israel and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip have traded blows since Tuesday, when an Israeli air strike killed three of the group’s top commanders.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect on Saturday, and appeared to be holding on Sunday.
Prayers for peace
Speaking at the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis lamented the loss of life in the “armed exchanges between Israelis and Palestinians, in which innocent people have lost their lives, including women and children.”
At least 13 civilians were reported killed in Gaza as a result of the strikes, including children as young as 4-years-old.
The Pope expressed his hopes that the recent ceasefire might hold, and that both sides might lay down their weapons.