Pope Francis sends letter to Argentine Jewish group on AMIA bombing anniversary


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Pope Francis sent a letter to the Argentine Jewish political umbrella organization DAIA ahead of the 25th anniversary this month of the attack that killed 85 people at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

“Since the first day, my heart has been with the relatives of the victims, Jews or Christians,” wrote the pope, who was born in Argentina as Francisco Bergoglio.

In 2005, Francis was a Jesuit archbishop when he became the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case.

Francis then criticized terrorism in a message to Argentine leaders on the 20th anniversary of the attack.

“Terrorism is lunacy. Terrorism’s only purpose is to kill. It does not build anything, it only destroys … May justice be done!” Francis said in a video message.

Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah are said to have been behind the attack, but the case officially remains unsolved.

Argentina’s government is preparing a presidential decree to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group soon, possibly before the AMIA commemoration.

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