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Pope prays for leaders to 'avert a new spiral of violence' over Jerusalem

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press
Image: A Palestinian kicks a burning tire during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah
A Palestinian kicks a burning tire during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah Dec. 10, 2017.Mohamad Torokman / Reuters

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JERUSALEM — The Vatican on Sunday said Pope Francis is praying so that "leaders of nations" commit themselves to work to "avert a new spiral of violence" over Jerusalem and is expressing "sorrow for the clashes in recent days that have produced victims."

In a statement, the Holy See recalled Francis's appeal last week for "wisdom and prudence" to prevail, and it reiterated its position asserting "the essential need for respecting the status quo" of Jerusalem.

U.S. President Donald Trump announcement on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital has triggered anger and protests around the Muslim world.

The Vatican statement said only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can achieve "stable and lasting peace and guarantee the peaceful co-existence of two states within internationally recognized borders."

It called Jerusalem "a sacred city for Christians, Jews and Muslims from all over the world."

Israeli police said that a security guard had been stabbed near Jerusalem's central bus station.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the guard was seriously wounded Sunday and his attacker arrested. The Magen David Adom medical service said a 30-year-old male suffered a stabbing wound in his upper body.

The incident appeared to be the first attack since President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The announcement set off protests and demonstration across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and demonstrations around the world.

Image: A Palestinian kicks a burning tire during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah
A Palestinian kicks a burning tire during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah Dec. 10, 2017.Mohamad Torokman / Reuters

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