As war raged between Israel and Palestinian militants, the Pope called for an end to attacks in Israel.
He did not mention the Gaza Strip or the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which launched a massive surprise attack early on Saturday.
“War is a defeat. All war is a defeat. Let us pray for peace in Israel and Palestine,” he said at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
“I follow with apprehension and pain what is happening in Israel… I express my solidarity with the families of the victims,” he told crowds after his traditional Angelus prayer.
“I pray for all those who are living through hours of terror and anguish,” he said.
“May the attacks and the weapons cease, I beg you.”
“Terrorism and war do not lead to a solution, but only to the death and suffering of many innocent people.”
Meanwhile, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has issued the following statement on the hostilities in the Middle East: “We have been shocked and horrified by the outbreak of senseless violence in the Holy Land.