(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed for moderation and dialogue after a surge of violence and killings over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
Addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope said he is following “with trepidation the grave tensions and violence of the last days in Jerusalem.”
Last week Arab gunmen, shooting from the site – which is Holy to Jews and to Muslims – killed two Israeli policemen sparking a wave of violence in which three Palestinians were killed in street clashes and a Palestinian fatally stabbed three members of an Israeli family.
“I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal for moderation and dialogue” Francis said and he invited all faithful to join him in prayer so that the Lord may inspire all sides to come together with proposals for reconciliation and peace.
Tensions over the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, have surged in the past couple of days following the installation by Israel of metal detectors after two Israeli policemen were killed near there earlier this month.
The measures angered the Palestinians, who accuse Israel of trying to take control over a sacred place.
Israel now says it is willing to consider alternatives to the controversial metal detectors it installed and has called on the Muslim world to put forward other suggestions.