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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?

Prediction 9: The Catholic Church getting directly involved in the “Road to Peace” process.

Pope urges renewed talks in Israel

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI is urging Israelis and Palestinians to resume Middle East peace negotiations.

The Vatican said in a statement that the pope felt close to the innocent victims of recent violence, and that the Holy Land had become "hostage to those who delude themselves they can solve the ever more dramatic problems of the region by force or unilateral action," ANSA reported.

The Vatican appealed to both sides "to show due respect for human life, especially that of unarmed civilians and children."

Seven Palestinians were killed on a Gaza beach on Friday, prompting the Islamist group Hamas -- which heads the Palestinian Authority -- to end a 16-month truce. ANSA said an Israeli missile blew up a vanload of rockets on Wednesday, killing two Palestinian militants and nine civilians.

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