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Pope prays for Holy Land as 'death spiral' widens in Jerusalem


By Devin Watkins & Nathan Morley

“The death spiral that is increasing by the day only closes the few glimmers of trust that exist between the two peoples.”

Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for the recent flareup in violence in the Holy Land on Sunday in his greetings following the noon-day Angelus prayer.

“Since the beginning of the year, dozens of Palestinians have been killed in firefights with the Israeli army,” he said.

The Pope recalled the death of 10 Palestinians, including a woman, during an “Israeli military anti-terrorist raid in Palestine.”

He also lamented the deaths of 7 Israeli Jews who were killed, and three others who were injured, by a Palestinian as they leaving a synagogue on Friday.

“I appeal to the two Governments and the international community to find other paths—immediately and without delay—which include dialogue and the sincere search for peace.”

Pope Francis also urged everyone to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

Tense situation in Jerusalem

The Pope’s appeal came in the wake of further violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, which erupted in Jerusalem on Saturday night following two attacks in the city.

On Saturday evening, Israeli police entered Arab districts in Jerusalem seeking suspects who may have helped the assailants in the previous attacks.

The operation sparked clashes with Palestinians, which saw crowds throw stones, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.

On Friday evening, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem shot dead seven Israelis and wounded three others.

On Saturday morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian from the city shot at a group of Israelis, wounding two of them.

Rising death toll

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, held a security cabinet meeting on Saturday evening to discuss the response to the latest events.

The latest troubles began last week when a raid by the Israeli military in the West Bank city of Jenin resulted in the killing of 10 Palestinians.

According to the UN, in 2022, more than 150 Palestinians and over 20 Israelis were killed in clashes between the two sides.

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