Peace Initiative With Children Boosted

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 29, 2004 ( John Paul II underlined the duty of reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis when he met children and their families from the Holy Land.

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«Greetings to the young Israelis and Palestinians who, with their families, are lodging in Naples,» the Pope said Sunday before praying the midday Angelus. The families were visiting Rome.

«Together they would like to say to the world that they desire peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land,» the Holy Father said.

«They speak with particular force since their families, the Palestinians as much as the Israelis, have been victims of the conflict that is currently taking place,» he said. «All have duty to not disappoint these young people and to help them to grow in confidence in God and in others.»

With the motto «children ambassadors of peace,» the Naples Bank Foundation for the Assistance for Children organized this trip to Italy for five Israeli and five Palestinian children and their families.

The children met with Italian and immigrant children of the same age, and have visited political representative and symbolic places on the Italian peninsula. Among these was the NATO command.

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