Pope Francis urges dialogues among Middle East leaders

VATICAN — Pope Francis has expressed concern over the conflict situation in the Middle East and called for dialogue and diplomacy among leaders in the region.

During his traditional Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican, the pope said:

“I continue to follow the situation in the Middle East with concern and sadness. I reiterate the plea not to yield to the claims of war but rather to prioritize dialogue and diplomacy, which can achieve much,” Pope Francis in his traditional Sunday Angelus prayer.

He added: “I pray every day for peace in Palestine and Israel, and I hope that these two peoples will soon put an end to their sufferings.”

Flouting the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on Gaza where nearly 34,100 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and nearly 77,000 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian authorities.

The Israeli onslaught has reportedly displaced 85% of Gaza’s population amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe. (Anadolu)