Monday, December 10, 2018 | ePaper

Pope worried over Mideast violence

  • Print


AFP, Vatican City :
Pope Francis said Wednesday he was "very worried" by escalating violence in the Middle East after 60 Gazans were shot dead by Israeli troops while protesting the US embassy's move to Jerusalem.
"I am very worried 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," he said during his weekly audience at the Vatican.
"I express my great sorrow for the dead and wounded and I am close through prayer and affection to all those who suffer," he added.
Calling for "dialogue, justice and peace," Francis said violence "has never led to peace. War incites war, violence incites violence."
Israel has come under mounting international 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 US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. At least 2,400 other Palestinians were wounded in what was the bloodiest day of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.
Francis has on several occasions expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, indirectly criticising US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital.
Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue of the decades-long conflict, with Israeli claiming the entire Holy City as its capital while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as capital of their future state.
Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War, later annexing the eastern sector of the city in a move never recognised by the international community.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called for restraint, saying "such violence is destructive to peace efforts".
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the "violence of the Israeli armed forces against the protesters".
Ireland and Belgium summoned the Israeli envoys in their capitals, while South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel.
Turkey has told Israel's ambassador to temporarily leave the country, while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of "state terror" and "genocide".
Israel hit back, ordering the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave for an unspecified period of time.
"Erdogan is one of the biggest supporters of Hamas, so there's no doubt he's an expert on terror and slaughter," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted.
Netanyahu also accused the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza of deliberately putting civilian lives at risk for political gain.
"They (Hamas) are pushing civilians-women, children-into the line of fire with a view of getting casualties," Netanyahu told CBS.
"We've tried to minimise casualties; they are trying to incur casualties in order to put pressure on Israel which is horrible."
The US ambassador to the United Nations strongly defended Israel at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the violence in Gaza.
"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has," Nikki Haley said. "In fact the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained."
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas withdrew his top representative to the United States, Husam Zomlot, the foreign ministry announced, without saying for how long.
The United States has blocked the adoption of a Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe into the violence, diplomats said.
In the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, funerals were held for a second day.
Hundreds attended the funeral of Yazan Tubasi, 23, killed east of Gaza City.
"I am happy that my son is a martyr," said his father Ibrahim, 50, though he was crying uncontrollably.

More News For this Category

UK PM May expected to delay Brexit vote, demand better deal

UK PM May expected to delay Brexit vote, demand better deal

Reuters, London :Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to delay Tuesday's key parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal and head to Brussels next week to demand better terms from

Prosecutors connect Trump to a federal crime for first time

Prosecutors connect Trump to a federal crime for first time

AP, Washington :The Justice Department says that President Donald Trump directed illegal payments to buy the silence of two women whose claims of extramarital affairs threatened his presidential campaign, the

Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce de Leon wins Miss World 2018 crown

Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce de Leon wins Miss World 2018 crown

Rappler :And we finally have a new Miss World, the winner of the pageant for the year 2018 and she is Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce de Leon.The beautiful lady from

US wants to continue support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

US wants to continue support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

Reuters, Abu Dhabi :The United States wants to continue support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's war and will remain engaged in efforts to combat Iranian influence and Islamist militancy

News in brief

Trump chooses army general to lead Joint Chiefs of StaffAFP, WashingtonUS President Donald Trump on Saturday announced he was nominating Army chief of staff General Mark Milley as his next

Russian offered Trump campaign ‘political’ cooperation in 2015: US prosecutors

Russian offered Trump campaign ‘political’ cooperation in 2015: US prosecutors

AFP, New York : US prosecutors revealed Friday that a Russian offered cooperation to Donald Trump's campaign as early as 2015, declaring that the president's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen had provided "relevant"

US accuses Russia of lying on Syria attack to undermine truce

US accuses Russia of lying on Syria attack to undermine truce

The United States and Britain accused Russia on Friday of fabricating a story about chemical weapons use by Syrian rebels and warned Moscow against undermining a shaky truce.Russia's defense ministry

Researchers explore new way of killing malaria in the liver

Researchers explore new way of killing malaria in the liver

AFP, Washington :In the ongoing hunt for more effective weapons against malaria, international researchers said Thursday they are exploring a pathway that has until now been little studied - killing

Jubilant Malays rally after Malaysia refuses UN racial equality pledge

Jubilant Malays rally after Malaysia refuses UN racial equality pledge

Reuters, Kuala Lumpur  :Tens of thousands of Malay Muslims rallied in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to celebrate the Malaysian government's refusal to ratify a UN convention against racial discrimination.After weeks

Nearly 300 detained as Paris braces for ‘yellow vest’ protests

Nearly 300 detained as Paris braces for ‘yellow vest’ protests

AFP, Paris :Paris police detained nearly 300 people Saturday ahead of fresh anti-government "yellow vest" protests which authorities fear could turn violent for a third weekend in a row.Clad in