Warning that violence will never bring peace, Pope Francis urged all sides to do all they can to foster dialogue in the Middle East.
He said during his weekly audience at the Vatican, "I am very anxious about the escalation of tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East, and about the spiral of violence which moves us ever further away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation". Israel claims that Hamas is spurring the violence and using it for cover for attacks. "War incites war, violence incites violence".
Francis, who visited Israel and Palestinian territories in 2014, asked both sides and the global community to redouble efforts "so that dialogue, justice and peace prevail". "May this special time of prayer and fasting help to walk the way of God which is the path of peace", he said.
Pope Francis on Wednesday called for the end of the wave of violence in the Holy Land and appealed for the opening of talks.
Changing the way parishes - and their priests and involved laity - operate will not be easy, the pope said, but members of the diocese must set out to follow the Lord more closely, deal with the reality in their neighborhoods and learn how to show everyone living within the parish boundaries that they are recognized and loved.
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A renewed outreach, the pope said, must begin by "learning to discern where God already is present in very ordinary forms of holiness and communion with him".
"Christian education is a child's right; it seeks to guide them gradually to know God's plan in Christ", so they will be able to personally take up the faith in which they were baptized, he said.
The latest bloodshed came on the same day the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem after relocating it from Tel Aviv.
Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital and now feel that, with its embassy there, the USA can not be a fair broker in the peace process with Israel.
Israel has come under mounting global pressure after its forces opened fire on the Gaza border on Monday, killing 60 protesters who had massed alongside the fence to protest as the U.S. moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.