Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Pope Francis, center in white, onboard a Jordanian military helicopter, arrives in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Francis landed Sunday in the West Bank town of Bethlehem in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state as he began a busy second day of his Mideast pilgrimage. (AP Photo/Menahem Kahana, Pool) )
Pope condemns deadly Brussels attack
First Published May 25 2014 11:45 am • Last Updated May 25 2014 11:45 am

Tel Aviv, Israel • Pope Francis on Sunday condemned the deadly shootings at the as anti-Semitism as he arrived in Israel for the final leg of a Holy Land pilgrimage.

Francis was greeted with an honor guard at the airport, and the country’s top officials lined up to shake his hand as he walked along a red carpet.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In opening comments, Francis expressed hope for Mideast peace, lamenting that the holy city of Jerusalem "remains deeply troubled as a result of longstanding conflicts."

He called for a "just and lasting solution" so that Israelis and Palestinians may live in peace. He said Israel deserves peace and security "within internationally recognized borders," while the Palestinians have a "right to live with dignity and with freedom of movement" in their own homeland.

He also condemned the Holocaust as the "enduring symbol of the depths to which human evil can sink." Francis is to visit Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, on Monday.

Veering off a prepared text, Francis deplored "this criminal act of anti-Semitic hatred" in Brussels, where three people, including two Israelis, were killed in Saturday’s museum shooting.

"With a deeply pained heart, I think of those who have lost their lives in the cruel attack that occurred yesterday in Brussels," he said. "I entrust the victims to God’s mercy and invoke recovery for the injured."

Earlier, Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, thanked Francis for his strong stand against anti-Semitism and noted the timing of the Brussels shooting.

"You carry a message of brotherhood among peoples, and friendship for all," Peres said.

Francis arrived from the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where earlier Sunday he voiced strong sympathy for the Palestinians.

story continues below
story continues below

During his trip to the cradle of Christianity, France plunged into Mideast politics, calling the current stalemate in peace efforts "unacceptable" and winning the acceptance from the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to pay a symbolic visit to the Vatican next month to pray for peace.

In another unscripted moment, he prayed at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding the biblical West Bank town and briefly donned the checkered black and white headscarf that is a symbol of the Palestinian cause.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.