Pope Francis Photo: Twitter

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the killing of Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border, saying the deaths would only lead to more violence.

He therefore appealed for dialogue to bring justice and peace to the Middle East.

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“I express my great pain for the dead and wounded and I am close in prayer and affection to all those who are suffering,” he told tens of thousands of people at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

“I repeat that the use of violence never leads to peace. War begets war and violence begets violence,” the Pope said.

Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border on Monday during demonstrations against the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, in the bloodiest day in Gaza in years.

Francis, who visited Israel and Palestinian territories in 2014, asked both sides and the international community to redouble efforts “so that dialogue, justice and peace prevail”.