Pope Benedict XVI called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state soon after he arrived in Israel Monday. The pope also spoke about the Holocaust, promising to "honor the memory" of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide.
"It is right and fitting that, during my stay in Israel, I will have the opportunity to honor the memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the shoah," he said. According to him, he will "pray that humanity will never again witness a crime of such magnitude."
As he kicked off his five-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Benedict called on Israelis and Palestinians to "explore every possible avenue" to settle their dispute. "The hopes of countless men, women and children for a more secure and stable future depend on the outcome of negotiations for peace," he said, according to the AP. "In union with people of goodwill everywhere, I plead with all those responsible to explore every possible avenue in the search for a just resolution of the outstanding difficulties, so that both peoples may live in peace in a homeland of their own within secure and internationally recognized borders."