11/17/2003, 00.00
Vatican - Israel
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Pope Says: Holy Land needs bridges, not walls

Rome (AsiaNews) – On Sunday Nov. 16, during his weekly Angelus appearance, the pope remembered all victims of recent attacks in Iraq and Turkey. By condemning terrorism throughout the world and in the Holy Land, the pope expressed words of great significance regarding the wall the Israeli government is erecting to divide Israelis and Palestinians: "The construction of a wall between the Israelis and Palestinians is seen by many as an obstacle on the road toward living together in peace. Indeed, the Holy Land does not need walls, but bridges!  Without reconciliation of souls, there can be no peace." 

Here is the entire speech given before the Angelus:

"My Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Once again, in recent days, terrorism has wrought forth its evil activity –particularly devastating in Iraq and Turkey. While I continue to pray for victims, I repeat my declaration to stay spiritually near so many families praying for their dead. At the same time, I express my heart-felt solidarity with all those working to heal victims and remedy damages resulting from the attacks. No one must fall prey to the temptations of discouragement and vengeance: Respect for life, international solidarity and observance of law must prevail against hate and violence.

In such a context, I renew my firm condemnation of any recent terrorist action whatsoever in the Holy Land. At the same time I must point out, unfortunately, that the dynamism of peace seems to have come to a halt in these lands. The construction of a wall between the Israelis and Palestinians is seen by many as an obstacle on the road toward living together in peace. Indeed, the Holy Land does not need walls, but bridges!  Without reconciliation of souls, there can be no peace. 

We entrust the people of this part of the world to the God of mercy and peace, by way of our Most Holy Mary's intercession. May those who are responsible have the courage to renew dialog and negotiation, thereby leading to a Middle East which is reconciled in justice and peace.

 

 

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