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Pope condemns 'cowardly' attack on jews at Hebron

Pope John Paul II criticised the "cowardly" killing of twelve Jewish settlers at Hebron on Friday, as they were returning from Sabbath prayers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Addressing pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday, he expressed his "profound sharing in the sorrow of the relatives" of the victims of the "cowardly attack".

The Pope recalled that the killing took place when the Jewish believers "had just finished praying, just a few steps from the tomb of the Patriarch Abraham, whom we recognize as our common father in faith."

"While I pray for the eternal repose of all those who died, I ask the Lord to infuse in all the necessary courage to return to the path of justice and peace," he said.

According to police and medical sources, an unknown number of Palestinians fired from the Abu Sneineh neighbourhood at a group of faithful walking along "Worshippers' Lane," from the Tomb of the Patriarchs to their settlement of Kiryat Arba.


Hebron ambush: What happened (BBC)

19 Nov 2002