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Church leaders in Holy Land plead for end to violence in Gaza

Catholic World News - July 22, 2014

The apostolic nuncio in the Holy Land has repeated the call of Pope Francis for an end to the violence in Gaza, and the retired Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has denounced the bloodshed as a “massacre.”

Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the papal representative in Jerusalem, said that the loss of life in Gaza is “not acceptable,” adding that “stakeholders must be helped and should be brought to the negotiating table.” He reported that the Pope’s call for peace had been echoed throughout the local media.

Former Patriarch Michel Sabbah, meanwhile, charged that the military offensive in Gaza, which has produced more than 580 casualties, “will not advance Israel one step toward peace and security.” The latest conflict will only cause new animosity and new calls for reprisals, he said. Archbishop Twal argued that decades of reliance on warfare have produced nothing approaching a solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, and “the means to achieve peace can only be a means of peace.” Archbishop Twal said that peace will be possible only with an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. But he voiced his doubt that the current Israeli leadership would take that step, saying that they “believe only in military force.”

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 23, 2014 8:18 AM ET USA

    "Archbishop Twal argued that decades of reliance on warfare have produced nothing..." That depends on how you look at it. Do we need to remind the good bishop about what warfare did for Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982, as well as smaller police actions in the intervening years? It is no exaggeration to say that, absent these military actions, Mohammedans would have already exterminated Israel and its people, just as they say they want to this day. I guess that would be a "solution".

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 22, 2014 5:49 PM ET USA

    The patriarch and the archbishop seem to be blaming Israel for the troubles again. Hamas kept lobbing rockets into Israel and took advantage of a ceasefire to lob a few more. Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist organization, but all of this seems to mean nothing. This is part of the problem in the area.

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