Pope condemns Israeli raid on Gaza aid ships

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 02, 2010 15:50 hrs

/AKI) Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday condemned Israel's deadly attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla in which nine activists were killed.

'With great trepidation I followed the tragic events that occurred near the Gaza Strip,' Benedict said and urged world leaders to press for peace in the Middle East.

'Again I say with a heavy heart that violence does not solve disputes, but increases their tragic consequences and generates more violence.

'I appeal to those who have political responsibilities, locally and internationally, to relentlessly seek just solutions through dialogue, to ensure the people of the best living conditions, harmony and serenity,' he said.

Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of civilian aid ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip Monday, killing nine people.

The incident has sparked widespread global outrage. The UN Security Council has issued a statement calling for a 'prompt, impartial, credible and transparent' inquiry into the incident.