Pope calls on Israeli, Palestinian leaders to decrease tension

"There is need for great courage and great fortitude in order to say 'No' to hatred and vengeance," says Francis.

By REUTERS
October 18, 2015 17:52

Pope calls for peace in Holy Land

Pope calls for peace in Holy Land

Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for an end to violence in the Holy Land, urging Israelis and Palestinians to shun hate and vengeance, and take concrete steps to ease tensions.

Seven Israelis and at least 41 Palestinians have died in the recent outburst of violence.

"In this moment there is need for great courage and great fortitude in order to say 'No' to hatred and vengeance, and to carry out acts of peace," the pope told the tens of thousands gathered for Mass in St. Peter's Square.

The pontiff called on government leaders and citizens to oppose the violence and take "concrete steps aimed at decreasing tensions."

"Peace in the Holy Land is more crucial than ever," Pope Francis told the crowd.

The pope was speaking at the end of a Mass for about 65,000 people in St. Peter's Square, where he had proclaimed four new Catholic saints.
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