Pope 'very worried' by Mideast 'spiral of violence'

Pope Francis 'worried' about 'escalation of tensions,' emphasizes that 'war begets war.'

Tags: Pope Francis
AFP, Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 1:32 PM

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Uri Lenz/POOL/Flash 90

Pope Francis said Wednesday he was "very worried" over the "spiral of violence" in the Middle East .

"I am very worried about the escalation of tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East, and about the spiral of violence which moves us ever further away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation," he said during his weekly audience at the Vatican.

"I express my great sorrow for the dead and wounded and I am close through prayer and affection to all those who suffer," he added, calling for "dialogue, justice and peace."

Violence, he emphasized, "has never led to peace. War incites war, violence incites violence."

On Monday, Gaza sources claimed that the IDF killed sixty violent rioters.

Israel has repeatedly urged Gazans not to bring children to the riots, but Hamas threats aimed at those who do not participate, together with significant payments for those who bring themselves or their families to the riots, encourage Gazans to ignore Israel's warnings.

Gazan protesters, meanwhile, routinely throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces stationed opposite the border, burn tires, and fly kites with firebombs over the fence into Israeli territory. Rioters also harm Israel's border fence and security infrastructure, in attempts to breach the border en masse and infiltrate Israeli territory.