At the end of the general audience of October 11, Pope Francis made an appeal for peace as the war between Israel and Hamas extends into its fifth day.
His appeal noted the suffering on both sides.
Hamas launched its surprise attack on Saturday, on the last day of the seven-day-long Jewish festival of Sukkot.
Here’s what the Pope said:
I continue to follow what is happening in Israel and Palestine with tears and apprehension: many people killed, others injured. I pray for those families who have seen a feast day transformed into a day of mourning, and I ask that the hostages be released immediately. It is the right of those who are attacked to defend themselves, but I am very concerned about the total siege under which the Palestinians are living in Gaza, where there have also been many innocent victims.
Terrorism and extremism do not help reach a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, but fuel hatred, violence, revenge, and only cause each other to suffer. The Middle East does not need war, but peace, a peace built on dialogue and the courage of fraternity.
Pope Francis has just made the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, a cardinal. A champion of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, he is the first patriarch of Jerusalem to enter the College of Cardinals.