At the end of today's general audience, Pope Benedict noted that he has been following "with great trepidation, the tragic events that have taken place near the Gaza Strip. I feel the need to express my deepest condolences to the victims of these sorrowful events that are troubling all those who are concerned with peace in the area."
The Holy Father said: "I again repeat, with heavy heart, that violence does not resolve conflict but only increases its tragic consequences and generates more violence. I appeal to all political leaders at the local and international levels to constantly seek just solutions through dialogue in a way that guarantees the best condition of life, harmony, and serenity to the peoples of the area.
"I invite you all to join in prayer for the victims, their families, and for all those who are suffering. The Lord sustains the efforts of those who never tire of working for reconciliation and peace".