Pope in General Audience on October 11 Photo: Vatican Media

Pope Expresses His Position on the Conflict in Israel and Palestine and His Concern Over Siege of Gaza

Pope Francis expressed his concern for both the Israeli and Palestinian civilian victims

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 11.10.2023).- Five days after Hamas’ invasion of different areas of Israel and the latter’s counteroffensive, which has also taken the lives of numerous civilians, Pope Francis pronounced himself for a second time on the conflict. The first time he did so, was the day after the start of the conflict, at the end of the Sunday Angelus.

“I am following apprehensively and sorrowfully what is happening in Israel, where the violence has exploded even more ferociously, causing hundreds of deaths and casualties. I express my closeness to the families of the victims. I am praying for them and for all who are living hours of terror and anguish. May the attacks and weaponry cease. Please! And let it be understood that terrorism and war do not lead to any resolutions, but only to the death and suffering of so many innocent people. War is a defeat! Every war is a defeat! Let us pray that there be peace in Israel and in Palestine.”

Already on Sunday, October 8, the Holy Father expressed his solidarity both with the Israeli as well as the Palestinian victims. However, on Wednesday, October 11, he wished to stress his words even more, perhaps taking into account both the insinuations of the Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See — who in a press release seemed to suggest an ambiguity in Pius II’s pontificate –, as well as the suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza:

“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.”

Unlike much of the international community, which has only condemned Hamas’ terrorist incursion, the Pontiff has also highlighted the injustices against the Palestinian population of Gaza.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

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