Over three weeks after the start of the Gaza war, Pope Francis has called on Israel and the Palestinians to find a solution at the negotiating table.
“Every war is a defeat. Nothing is solved by war. Everything is gained with peace, with dialogue,” the head of the Catholic Church said.
The 86-year-old strongly advocated for a two-state solution, one state for Israel and one for the Palestinians.
This approach has enjoyed broad support for decades, but has not progressed in spite of all international appeals.
“In war, one slap in the face provokes another. A strong one and then another stronger one, and it goes on,” Francis said.
However, it is about “two peoples who must live together.”
There is a “clever solution” for this: “Two peoples, two states. The Oslo Accords state: two well-limited states and Jerusalem with a special status.”
Francis was referring to the Oslo peace process between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which began in 1993.
But after initial progress, it has not moved forward in over two decades.
At the same time, the Pope condemned any form of anti-Semitism.