Pope Francis Calls for Prayers for Coexistence as the Conflict Between Israel and Hamas Continues

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Currents News Staff

Last Sunday, Pope Francis asked pilgrims to pray for peace in the Holy Land, calling the deaths of children there unacceptable.

“Many people have been wounded and many innocent people have died. Among them children,” Pope Francis said. “This is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that they are not trying to build the future, but destroy it.”

That same day was the deadliest day in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, with 52 people killed last Sunday alone. One priest in Jerusalem, caught in the middle of the airstrikes and rocket attacks, described the situation in the holy city.

“It has been getting worse and worse,” said Juan Antonio Ruiz, from the Spanish Biblical and Archaeological Institute. “We have been hearing gunfire for three nights now, several missiles and bombings, and that is why we are very concerned. We don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”

That fear and uncertainty is also felt by the most vulnerable: the children caught in the crossfire.

“It’s ok, it’s not near us, I promise!”

This clip, posted of a ten-year-old girl in Gaza, went viral.

“You see all of this. What do you expect me to do? Fix it? I am only 10,” said Gaza resident Nadine Abdullatief.

I can’t even deal with this anymore. I just want to be a doctor or anything to help all my people, but I can’t. I am just a kid.”

President Biden had a private call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, May 19, where he said he expected “a significant de-escalation.”

And on Thursday, May 20, the president spoke about the conflict.

“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely, and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy,” he said.

Over the past two weeks, at least 230 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed and thousands more were injured. Israel reports 10 adults and two children were killed there.