Pope Francis expresses concern over escalating violence in Middle East

- Expressing his sorrow for those who have lost their lives, Pope Francis Wednesday called for peace and dialogue in the Middle East, which has faced increased violence during the transfer of the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On the other side of the fence, Israeli troops have fired tear gas and live ammunition, spurring the deadliest moment on the border since 2014.

Palestinian medics and protesters evacuate a wounded youth during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018.

ReutersPope Francis made the comments at his regular Wednesday address at St Peter's Square, in the Vatican.

He called for dialogue, justice and peace, stressing that violence has never led to peace. This is what he said when greeting a group of retired soldiers from World War II.

After expressing his sorrow for those killed and his closeness to those who are suffering, the pope insisted that violence will never bring peace.

The pope called on the global community to renew their commitment to ensure that dialogue, justice and peace prevail. "War incites war, violence incites violence".

In December 2017, when US President, Donald Trump, announced the decision to move the embassy, Francis called for Jerusalem's "status quo" to be respected, saying new tension in the Middle East would further inflame world conflicts. But in the message there are no direct quotes, which would sound condemnation of Israel's actions.

He said: "When I read this, I think about myself, because I'm a bishop and I'll have to take my leave".

In the header of the message, Reuters said that Francis condemned (condemns) the killing in Gaza.

'Israel has a right to defend itself but also has the moral and legal responsibility not to use disproportionate force and not to prevent the injured from receiving medical treatment. At the end of the Audience he sent out this cry for peace in the Holy Land.

'We pray for all those who suffer from this conflict and for the peace of Jerusalem'.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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