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Updated: June 2, 2010 18:38 IST

Israeli attack on Gaza flotilla provokes more violence, says Pope

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Pope Benedict XVI looks on during his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Wednesday. Photo: AP.
Pope Benedict XVI looks on during his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Wednesday. Photo: AP.

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday expressed condolences for those killed in the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla, saying such 'tragic' events would only generate more violence.

Speaking during his weekly general audience, he said it was with 'deep trepidation' that he was following Monday's attack and its aftermath.

'Once again I repeat with heartfelt spirit that violence does not resolve disputes, but generates more violence,' the pontiff said.

'I invite you all to join me in prayer for the victims and their families and for all those who suffer,' he added.

He also appealed to all those 'with political responsibility,' to find 'just solutions through dialogue,' and to guarantee the people of the Gaza Strip better conditions of life.

Pope Benedict was speaking ahead of his visit on Friday to Cyprus, the Mediterranean island nation from which the ill-fated flotilla carrying aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip had set sail.

A working document which is expected to criticise the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, will be presented by the pontiff in Cyprus in preparation for a synod assembly of bishops from the Middle East region slated for October.

The Vatican has repeatedly denounced worsening economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, saying they are also contributing to an exodus of Christians from the area.

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