Pope Pleads for Peace as Mideast Tensions Rise

Appeals for Dialogue as Way to Peace

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 18, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II again denounced "the logic of hatred and violence» in the Middle East and appealed for dialogue as a way to peace.

At midday today, when the Holy Father greeted about 20,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square to pray the Angelus, he said: «Unfortunately, I cannot forget that violence is escalating in the Middle East.»

«In particular, every day we receive, from Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the sad news of more human lives sacrificed to the logic of hatred and violence, while the prospects of peace increasingly recede,» the Pope said after presiding over an Armenian-rite liturgy in St. Peter´s Basilica.

«Let us pray so that this whirlwind of violence, especially fierce in recent times, will leave room to seek mutual confidence and respect, so that the way of dialogue will be taken up again, and peace in justice will finally be reached,» the Bishop of Rome told the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee of the Intifada (the Palestinian uprising) called for the intensification of the struggle against Israel to bring down the incoming government of Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon.

Sharon is finalizing plans with different parties to form a «government of national unity» in Israel. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Barak might be the next Defense Minister.

In a statement, the Supreme Committee of the Intifada said, «Sharon´s government will be an aggressive government.»

Following Saturday´s threats of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein against Israel, Israeli Assistant Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh warned against the eventual formation of an axis joining Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation