BY Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, in his Easter address on Sunday, called for peace in the Holy Land two days after 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border, saying the conflict there “does not spare the defenseless”.
The pope made his appeal in his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to tens of thousands of people in the flower-bedecked square below where he earlier celebrated a Mass.
He also appealed for an end to the “carnage” in Syria, calling for humanitarian aid to be allowed to enter, and for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Francis appeared to refer directly to the Gaza violence last Friday, calling for “reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless.”