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Pope Francis hilights importance of meeting in Jordan on Gaza

Vatican City, Jun 9 (Prensa Latina) Pope Francis today stressed the importance of the international conference on the emergency humanitarian response for the Gaza Strip, to be held in Jordan next Tuesday, June 11.

After praying the Angelus from the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace, before thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s Square, the Pontiff thanked the initiative announced last May 31 by the Jordanian monarch, Abdullah II.

Referring to this meeting, which was also convened by the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the Bishop of Rome encouraged the international community “to act urgently, by whatever means, to help the war-weary population of Gaza”.

“Humanitarian aid must be able to reach those who need it and no one should stop it,” Francis added, referring to the grave situation in the area, where Israeli attacks have already killed more than 36,000 people, mostly civilians, including thousands of children, women and the elderly.

He also recalled that last June 8 “was the tenth anniversary of the Invocation of Peace at the Vatican, where former Israeli President, the late Shimon Peres, and the Palestinian President, Abu Mazen, were met”.

“That meeting shows us that it is possible to shake hands and that making peace requires courage, much more courage than making war,” he said, and stated that “I therefore encourage the ongoing negotiations between the parties, even if they are not easy.”

“I hope that the proposals for peace, for a cease-fire on all fronts and for the release of the hostages, will be accepted immediately for the good of the Palestinians and the Israelis,” the pontiff concluded.