Religious Leaders Condemn Attacks on Gaza as Genocide

  Religious Leaders Condemn Attacks on Gaza as Genocide Religious Leaders Condemn Attacks on Gaza as Genocide
Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei denounced Israel over its deadliest offensive on Gaza, describing its attacks as a "deliberate massacre" of innocent and defenseless civilians.
"What pain greater than Muslim silence on this humanitarian tragedy?" the Leader asked in a condolence message released on Sunday, lamenting the lack of world action on the issue.
"Instead of standing up to Israeli war crimes and defending innocent Gazans, some Muslim leaders have paved the way for Tel Aviv to commit these crimes against humanity," his eminence continued.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the contributions of the Bush administration toward the "genocidal Israeli assaults" against Palestinians have further tarnished the US image and world standing.
Iraq's top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Sistani, in turn said condemnation didn't go far enough. "Expressing condemnation and denunciation for what is going on against our brothers in Gaza and expressing solidarity with them by words only doesn't mean anything in the face of the big tragedy they are facing," his eminence said in a statement released by office in Najaf.
"Now more than at any other time, both Arab and Islamic nations are required to take a practical stance for the sake of stopping this repeated aggression and to break the unfair besieging of these brave people," the statement said, without giving details of the proposed stance.
For his part, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday denounced the violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and urged everyone involved in the "tragic situation in the Middle East" to strive for humanity and wisdom.
"I implore an end to the violence which must be denounced in all its forms and a restoration of the truce on the Gaza Strip," he said in his weekly Angelus prayer.
"I call on the international community to do all it can to help the Israelis and Palestinians on this dead-end road ... and not to give in to the perverse logic of confrontation and violence but to favor the path of dialogue and negotiations," the pontiff said.

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