“I am very worried about and pained by mounting tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East, and the spiral of violence that takes us ever further away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations”. Pope Francis said this before greeting the Italian-speaking faithful at the end of his Wednesday Audience in St Peter’s Square today. “I express my great pain for the dead and the wounded, and I am close in prayer and affection to all those who suffer”, the Pope said: “I would like to reiterate that the use of violence never leads to peace. War begets war, violence begets violence”. “I call upon all sides and the international community to renew their commitment, so that dialogue, justice and peace may prevail”, the Pope appealed. “May God have mercy on us!”, he added off the cuff, after praying the “Hail Mary”, “Queen of Peace”, with the faithful. “To my Muslim brothers and sisters – Pope Francis continued – go my sincere best wishes for the month of Ramadan which begins tomorrow. May this special time of prayer and fasting help you to walk on the path of God which is the path of peace”.