Lamenting ‘death spiral,’ pope urges Israelis and Palestinians to ‘search for peace’

Pope Francis presides over an Epiphany mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on January 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis presides over an Epiphany mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on January 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis condemns a resurgence of violence in the Middle East, urging Israelis and Palestinians to engage in a “sincere search for peace.”

“The death spiral that increases day by day only closes the few glimmers of trust that exist between the two peoples,” says the pope following his traditional Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

His comments come after a pair of terror shootings in Jerusalem over the weekend, including one that left seven civilians dead, and a rise in deadly clashes in the West Bank that has left 32 Palestinians dead, many of them gunmen but also several uninvolved civilians.

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