The Holy See has reaffirmed its commitment to the two-State solution as the sole means to achieve lasting peace in the Holy Land.
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said the Vatican “remains convinced that the two-State solution still offers hope for such a peace”.
The prelate urged both Israel and Palestine “to demonstrate audacity to renew their commitment toward a peace based on justice and respect for the legitimate aspirations of both sides”.
In his address to the UN Security Council in New York, Archbishop Caccia echoed the pope’s stance that war only represents a profound failure and a destruction of human fraternity.
He pointed to the distressing escalation of violence, leading to “deplorable levels of suffering” for the civilian population.
He reiterated the Vatican’s conviction that” war is always a defeat” for humanity because “it hinders the human family’s innate vocation to fraternity”.
He expressed the Holy See’s “absolute and unequivocal condemnation” of the terrorist attack carried out by Hamas and other armed groups on October 7th against the people of Israel.
“As Pope Francis clearly stated, terrorism and extremism fuel hatred, violence, and revenge, and only cause mutual suffering… These crimes demonstrate utter contempt for human life and are unjustifiable,” he said.
The archbishop also renewed the call for the immediate release of the 222 Israeli hostages held in Gaza, a call that Pope Francis had also emphasized during his General Audience.
However, the prelate stressed that criminal responsibility for terrorist acts cannot be attributed to an entire nation or people.
“The right to self-defense in every conflict must always comply with international humanitarian law, including the principle of proportionality,” he said.
The prelate also echoed the Holy See’s deep concern for the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Gaza. Archbishop Caccia called for the facilitation and continuation of humanitarian corridors to ensure that aid reaches all the people of Gaza.
At least 7,028 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, as Israel promises to continue raids into Palestinian territories. More than 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attack on Israel.