VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday urged Israeli and Palestinian authorities to make greater efforts to seek dialogue following recent deadly bomb attacks in Jerusalem and clashes in the occupied West Bank.
Speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday blessing, Francis said violence was “killing the future” for both.
Two bombs exploded at bus stops on Jerusalem’s outskirts on Wednesday, killing a 16-year-old boy and wounding at least 14 people in what appeared to be an attack by Palestinian militants. A 50-year-old man, died of injuries on Saturday.
Late on Tuesday night, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in the Israeli occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
The pope mentioned both incidents, calling the Jerusalem blasts “vile”, and saying that he was concerned about the increase of violence in the past few months.
“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,” he said.
Reporting by Philip Pullella;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle