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Objects in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel (Vatican News)

Pope Francis made a heartfelt appeal yesterday to halt the spiral of violence in the Middle East and for all nations to favour negotiation and peace efforts while assisting those suffering in Gaza. Source: Vatican News.

At the conclusion of the Regina Coeli prayer, the Pope said he was following with “prayer and concern, even sorrow” the news about the worsening situation in Israel following the intervention by Iran. 

The BBC reported Iran carried out strikes against Israeli territory for the first time on Saturday. Interceptions lit up the night sky in several places across the country, while many drones and missiles were shot down by Israel’s allies before they reached Israeli territory.

In his address, Pope Francis emphasised that nobody should threaten the existence of others, and that instead all nations should “take the side of peace,” helping Israelis and Palestinians to live in two states, side by side, in security. He added, “it is their deep and legitimate desire, and it is their right! Two neighbouring states.”

The Pope renewed his appeal for a ceasefire in Gaza and that the path of negotiation be pursued “with determination.” Recalling the suffering of the population in Gaza, “plunged into a humanitarian catastrophe,” he called for every effort to alleviate their suffering. He prayed that “the hostages kidnapped months ago be released!” 

“So much suffering! Let us pray for peace. No more war, no more attacks, no more violence! Yes to dialogue and yes to peace!”

The Pope also renewed his prayers for children around the world who are suffering due to the many wars in our world, mentioning in particular Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, Myanmar. He called on everyone to pray for them and for peace in our world.


Pope calls for every effort for dialogue and peace in Mideast (Vatican News

What was in wave of Iranian attacks and how were they thwarted? (By Tom Spender, BBC News)