Pope urges Israelis, Palestinians, to seek dialogue after surge in violence

‘I hope that Israeli and Palestinian authorities take the search for dialogue to heart in a greater way’

Pope Francis on Sunday condemned recent bombing attacks in Jerusalem that took the lives of two people and left another 18 wounded, urging Israeli and Palestinian authorities to seek dialogue.

Speaking during the Sunday blessing ceremony in St. Peter’s Square Vatican City the pontiff said that violence was “killing the future” for both sides of the conflict. He called the Jerusalem attacks “vile” and shared his concerns about the increase of violence in the region, including recent clashes in the West Bank city of Nablus

“Violence kills the future, interrupting the lives of the youngest and weakening the hopes for peace. Let us pray for these young people who died and for their families, especially for their mothers,” he said.

“I hope that Israeli and Palestinian authorities take the search for dialogue to heart in a greater way, building reciprocal trust, without which there will never be a solution for peace in the Holy Land,” Francis added.

Earlier on Friday, Israel’s police said that it would continue to reinforce stations in Jerusalem following twin terrorist bombings on Wednesday. The first victim of the attacks, 16-year-old student Aryeh Shechopek, was killed at the scene, while another victim, 50-year-old Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada, passed away from his wounds later on Saturday.

No specific group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, there was praise from both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad following the attack.

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