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Pope denounces fighting between Israel, Hamas

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis denounces the “unacceptable” spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, saying the deaths in particular of children are a “sign that they don’t want to build the future but want to destroy it.”

Francis prays for peace, calm and international help to open a path of dialogue during his Sunday blessing, delivered from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.

The pope says: “I ask myself: This hatred and vendetta, what will it bring? Do we truly think that we can build peace by destroying the other?”

In unusually pointed comments, Francis adds: “In the name of God, who created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity and are called to live as brothers, I appeal for calm” and an end to the violence.

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