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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis says "gestures of dialogue and reconciliation" are needed for the Holy Land and all the Middle East.
He told faithful in St. Peter's Square Sunday he had "united himself spiritually" to a prayer vigil held Saturday in Jerusalem, which, he noted, is holy for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Earlier, during Mass Sunday, Francis, citing the "heartrending' situation in Gaza and prayed that hearts be changed so peace arrives.
Palestinian authorities say more than 110 Palestinians have been killed by live fire during violence across the border between Gaza and Israeli since late March. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, says it aims to relax an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Palestinian territory through the protests.
The U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem has also fueled tensions.