Pope calls for new peace efforts after latest attacks in Ukraine and Gaza

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis called for concrete new measures to end the wars in Ukraine and Gaza after attacks on a children’s hospital in Kiev And a school in Gaza.

The Vatican press office issued a statement on Tuesday expressing Francis’ pain over the new attacks and his “deep indignation” over the escalating violence.

“While expressing his solidarity with the innocent victims and wounded, he hopes and prays that concrete ways can be found to end these ongoing conflicts,” the statement said.

Francis has often asked for prayers for the “tortured” people of Ukraine but tends to keep his calls generic. He also tends to use a balanced line on the war in Gazawith Israel and the hostages still held by Hamas often mentioned, alongside the suffering of the Palestinians.

A Russian missile struck the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital on Monday, sparking international outrage. Russia denied responsibility and insisted it does not attack civilian targets in Ukraine, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, including reporting by the Associated Press.

In Gaza, an Israeli attack last week on a school housing displaced Palestinians killed more than 30 people, local health officials said. The Israeli military said Hamas militants were operating from the school.

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