Pope begs for new peace efforts after latest attacks in Ukraine, Gaza

Pope Francis is appealing for concrete new measures to end the wars in Ukraine and Gaza

ByThe Associated Press
July 9, 2024, 6:45 AM

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis appealed for concrete new measures to end the wars in Ukraine and Gaza Tuesday after attacks targeted a children's hospital in Kyiv and a school in Gaza.

The Vatican press office issued a statement Tuesday expressing Francis’ pain over the new attacks and his “profound upset” at the spiraling of violence.

“While he expresses closeness to the innocent victims and injured, he hopes and prays that concrete paths can be identified to put an end to these ongoing conflicts,” the statement said.

Francis has frequently asked for prayers for the “martyred” people of Ukraine but tends to keep his appeals generic. He has also tended to take a balanced line toward the war in Gaza, frequently mentioning Israel and the hostages still held by Hamas alongside the suffering of Palestinians.

A Russian missile struck the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital Monday, drawing international outcry. Russia denied responsibility, insisting it doesn’t attack civilian targets in Ukraine despite abundant evidence to the contrary, including Associated Press reporting.

In Gaza, an Israeli strike last week on a school sheltering displaced Palestinians killed more than 30 people, according to local health officials. The Israeli military said that Hamas militants were operating from within the school.

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