Pope urges work for middle east peace
Pope John Paul II has urged the international community to help Israelis and Palestinians work together to forge a peaceful future.
His fresh appeal from St Peter's Square for an end to conflict followed a particularly bloody week in the Middle East.
The pontiff said: "Once again, these have been days of blood and death for the people of the Holy Land, involved in an unending vortex of violence and retaliation."
From his studio window above the piazza, John Paul II repeated a sentiment he has voiced in the past concerning the 32 months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, saying there could be no peace without justice, and no justice without forgiveness.
He added: "I also exhort the international community to not tire of helping Israelis and Palestinians to find again the sense of man and fraternity to plot their future together."
Since a new US-backed international peace plan was launched on June 4, renewed violence has killed more than 60 people.
Recent incidents include a bus bombing in Jerusalem by the militant group Hamas and a string of Israeli helicopter raids aimed at Hamas leaders.