Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his concern at the worsening violence in the Middle East, according to Vatican News.
“I express my great sorrow for the dead and wounded and with prayer and affection I am close to all who suffer,” he said at Wednesday’s general audience.
The pope underlined that the use of violence could never lead to peace, saying: “War begets war, violence begets violence.”
He expressed his deep concern “at the escalation of tension in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and the spiral of violence that is moving away further from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation.”
The pope called on the international community to renew their commitment to ensure that dialogue, justice and peace prevail.
On Monday, at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and hundreds more injured by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the border.
Monday’s demonstration had coincided with Israel’s 70th anniversary — an event Palestinians refer to as “The Catastrophe” — and the relocation of Washington’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, which also took place Monday.
Since the Gaza rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by cross-border Israeli army gunfire.
Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.