Pope Francis is appealing for peace in Gaza during his weekly Angelus prayer, calling for “concrete gestures to build peace” as the deadly six-day offensive escalated.
“I urge all interested parties and all in local and international political office not to spare in prayer and efforts to cease all hostilities,” Francis says.
Francis visited the Middle East in May and held a joint prayer in the Vatican with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in June.
Referring to the June 8 joint prayer, he says: “Some people might think that such a meeting was in vain. But this is not the case because prayer helps us not to be conquered by evil or resign ourselves to violence and hatred.”