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Pope Francis expresses concern over escalating violence in Middle East

17 May 2018

At today's General Audience, with pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis once again expressed his deep concern at the escalation of violence in the Middle East and urged for peace. In addition, a baby died from tear gas inhalation, the Gaza Health Ministry said, bringing the death toll to 58.

"We insist on the need for the Vatican to modify its discourse and- in addition to speaking about pain, forgiveness and sins- it is imperative that they recognize crimes, wrongs, and reparations and trust all the information it has to the hands of federal justice", the delegation said, some of whom identified themselves as victims of the Marist Brothers religious order. "War begets war and violence begets violence".

He added, though, a special greeting to Muslims who are celebrating Ramadan, saying: 'May this privileged time of prayer and fasting help those to walk along the path of God, which is the path of peace'. He said it expresses new life as creatures who reflect the glory of God.

While Santiago's Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez said that resignations of at least 10 Chilean bishops are pending, the Chilean diocese has continued to deny any departures of its religious leaders.

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The next phase is expected to take place in the summer when shareholders will be asked for their approval of the sell-off. Current CFO, John Nallen , will move into the expanded role of COO, the company said in an emailed statement.

Many Israelis see opening the embassy as the long-awaited official recognition of Jerusalem as their capital and the fulfillment of a promise made by numerous USA presidents to move the building from Tel Aviv. Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as a future capital.

Francis' appeal came after Israeli soldiers shot and killed 59 Palestinians and wounded hundreds in mass protests at the Gaza border, part of a weeks-long campaign to break a border blockade that Israel and Egypt imposed after Hamas took over Gaza by force in 2007.

To move forward, he said, Catholic communities must look at "the slaveries - the illnesses - that have ended up making us sterile".

The assembly called on "all parties involved to avoid use of violence and to find ways to end siege imposed on about 2 million Palestinians in Gaza Strip as soon as possible".

Pope Francis expresses concern over escalating violence in Middle East