As Israel and jihadist groups in the Gaza Strip continue their endless cycle of violence and devastation, Pope Francis made a desperate plea for peace Sunday. The Pope’s comments came shortly after another cease-fire was broken and fighting once again resumed in Gaza.
Since the beginning of July, over 1,000 people have been killed in the re-renewed conflict. Most have been Palestinians, including many civilians and children. A cease-fire was declared Saturday but ended just the next day.
The Pope was making his weekly Angelus address to Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday when he broke from his scripted words. His voiced seemed to break as he pleaded for an end to the violence, especially concerned for the children caught in the crossfire.
“Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future. Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who can’t smile any more.
Please stop! I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!”
It has been estimated that nearly 1/3 of those killed in the battles between Israel and Hamas were children. While the Pope and humanitarian groups continue to try and bring an end to the violence, it’s hard to imagine peace will be achieved anytime soon.
Watch the Pope’s plea below: