General Assembly Plenary Meeting on
Agenda Items 37 & 38 –
The Situation in the Middle East
and the Question of Palestine
New York, 25 May, 2021
The Holy See was following with great concern the unfolding of the tragic events in the Holy Land, the reason for the convening of last week’s Plenary Meeting which continues today.
From the outset Pope Francis appealed publicly saying: “In these days, violent armed clashes between the Gaza Strip and Israel have gained the upper hand, … degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction. Many people have been injured and many innocent people have died. Among them are even children, and this is terrible and unacceptable.”
The Holy See, therefore, welcomed the announcement of the ceasefire and considers it as an important step to halt aggressive and senseless hostilities, even if this can only be seen as a first step in the right direction. In this regard, the Holy See reiterates that the only way to achieve the long-awaited, two-State solution is by means of persistent, genuine and mutually respectful political dialogue. The support of the international community is crucial, especially from those parties who can assist Israeli and Palestinian authorities to reach an agreement, including on the question of Jerusalem and other final status issues. Peacemaking requires much greater courage than resorting to weapons and mutual destruction. It is “patient effort that is needed to seek truth and justice, to honor the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance.”
In this context, the recent violent clashes in many Israeli cities, as well as confrontations between Israeli and Palestinians in the West Bank constitute a serious wound to peaceful coexistence and fraternity among the citizens, which will be difficult to heal if dialogue between the parties is not resumed. We encourage the relevant authorities to use proper and just means to address these tensions.
Faced with the increasing humanitarian needs, it is important that all relevant actors play their part to alleviate the exacerbated suffering of the civilian population greatly affected by the recent hostilities.
The peoples of the world with one voice pray for the day in which peace, salaam, shalom will finally reign in the Holy Land. Now is the time for statesmen to make this happen.
Thank you, Mr. President.
 Pope Francis, Appeal after the recitation of the Regina Cæli prayer, Sunday, 16 May 2021.
 Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter, Fratelli Tutti, n. 226.
 Cf. Idem.,