NDuring the call, which took place during the afternoon, the two officials addressed the “latest events in Palestine, including the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem”, and the Pope also expressed sadness at the civilian victims, reported the Palestinian agency Wafa.
In turn, the Palestinian leader thanked the head of the Catholic Church for his efforts to consolidate peace in the region and highlighted the importance of the Vatican continuing to call for a ceasefire.
Abbas emphasized the importance of “a political solution based on international legitimacy to achieve the freedom, independence and sovereignty of the Palestinian people”, according to the same source.
The Palestinian leader stressed the imperative need to put an end to terrorism against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and reiterated his firm rejection of the forced displacement of Palestinians.
In November 2021, the Pope received Abbas at the Vatican during a meeting in which he expressed the “absolute need to reactivate direct dialogue to achieve a two-state solution, also with the help of a more vigorous commitment from the international community.”
“It was reaffirmed that Jerusalem must be recognized by all as a place of meeting and not of conflict and that its status must safeguard the universal identity and value of the Holy City for the three Abrahamic religions, also through a special status guaranteed internationally “, the Vatican said in a statement.
The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian state in 2015, and in 2017 the Palestinian Authority opened its embassy near the Vatican.
A war is underway between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, triggered on October 7 by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli territory.
This attack left more than 1,400 dead, mostly civilians, and more than 200 hostages and led to retaliation by the Israeli Army, with daily bombings in the north of that poor Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas – classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the Union Europe and Israel – which have already claimed 9,061 lives, including 3,760 children, according to local authorities.
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