Pope Francis Calls for ‘Moderation and Dialogue’ in Jerusalem Following Lethal Protests

temple mount
AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi

After massive protests in Jerusalem resulted in six deaths and at least 200 wounded, Pope Francis issued a call to moderation and dialogue.

“With trepidation I am following the grave tensions and violence these days in Jerusalem,” the Pope said after his weekly Angelus prayer in Saint Peters’s Square Sunday.

“I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal to moderation and dialogue. I invite you to join me in prayer so that the Lord will inspire all involved with proposals of reconciliation and peace,” he said.

Clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank gave rise to the deaths of three Palestinians and over 200 wounded as Palestinian leaders urged protests against Israel’s decision to put metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount.

Protest leaders, including top Palestinian officials, allege that the metal detectors are part of an Israeli plot to curb Muslim worship at the Mount, a site held holy by both Judaism and Islam.

On Friday night, a Palestinian terrorist broke into a Jewish home and murdered three Israelis in a brutal stabbing attack while the family was eating Shabbat dinner.

The murder took place in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Halamish, when a Palestinian in his late teens broke into a home and killed a 70-year-old man as well as two of his children. The man’s wife was also seriously wounded while other family members escaped harm by hiding in a nearby room.

The terrorist, identified by Palestinian media as 20-year-old Omar al Abed, was reportedly shot by an off-duty Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier who heard the family’s screams from a neighboring house.

Israel’s new security measures were put into place in response to the Palestinian terrorist attack at Temple Mount last Friday, when three assailants managed to smuggle weapons onto the site.

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