- (AFP) -- Israel on Wednesday slammed a senior Vatican
official for comparing the Gaza Strip to a "concentration camp,"
saying the comments were "based on Hamas propaganda."
- "Making remarks that seem to be based on Hamas propaganda
while ignoring its numerous crimes ... does not bring the people closer
to truth and peace," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told
- Cardinal Renato Martino, the Vatican's justice and peace
minister, was quoted by the online Italian daily Il Sussidiario as saying
the conditions in Gaza "increasingly resemble a big concentration
- On Tuesday Pope Benedict XVI said he wanted to encourage
efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians to sit down together in peace
talks over the Gaza conflict. Benedict was speaking to pilgrims and tourists
in St. Peter's Square.
- The pope said he was following the news of the armed
clashes in Gaza with "strong worry." He repeated his warning
that hate and rejection of dialogue only lead to war.
- Benedict added he is encouraging all efforts and initiatives
by those who want peace, and who are trying to help Israelis and Palestinians
to sit down and talk. The Vatican has said the pope would like to go the
Holy Land on a pilgrimage this spring, but no concrete plans have been