Pope urges Israelis, Palestinians, to seek dialog after surge in violence

"Violence kills the future, interrupting the lives of the youngest and weakening the hopes for peace," said Pope Francis.

 Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from a window of the Apostolic Palace at Saint Peter's Square, at the Vatican, March 6, 2022 (photo credit: VATICAN MEDIA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from a window of the Apostolic Palace at Saint Peter's Square, at the Vatican, March 6, 2022
(photo credit: VATICAN MEDIA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Pope Francis on Sunday urged Israeli and Palestinian authorities to make greater efforts to seek dialog following recent deadly bomb attacks in Jerusalem and clashes in the West Bank.

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his Sunday blessing, Francis said the 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 West Bank city of Nablus.

The Pope's comments

The pope mentioned both incidents, calling the Jerusalem blasts "vile," and saying that he was concerned about the increase in violence in the past few months.

 Israeli security forces and medics gather in Jerusalem following an explosion at a bus stop which wounded at least seven people, two of them seriously, on November 23, 2022.  (credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images) Israeli security forces and medics gather in Jerusalem following an explosion at a bus stop which wounded at least seven people, two of them seriously, on November 23, 2022. (credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

"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 dialog to heart in a greater way, building reciprocal trust, without which there will never be a solution for peace in the Holy Land."

Pope Francis

"I hope that Israeli and Palestinian authorities take the search for dialog 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.