Roman Catholic Patriarch in Holy Land, announces retirement after Easter

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land announced Wednesday that he will retire after the Easter holiday, after turning 75. In his final Easter message, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the first Palestinian to hold the post, referred to what he called "the tragedy" of Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, the killing of eight young Jewish theological students by a Palestinian gunman in Jerusalem earlier this month and a bout of fighting in Gaza which took the lives of more than 120 Palestinians, whom he described as "martyrs." "Violence has failed to achieve the desired security. It remains an inhumane violence and an aggression against the human dignity of the one who is killed and the one who kills," he wrote. "Israelis and Palestinians, after more than one century of conflict, must understand that armies don't protect their peoples any more, but expose them to more violence, fear and insecurity."