The Rev Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio on Saturday that Israel's offensive will be a "very serious blow" to the Islamic militant group Hamas but could also cause many innocent victims and damage peace prospects in the Holy Land.
Lombardi said all sides "must look for a different way out, even though it seems impossible".
Pope Benedict XVI is expected to visit the Holy Land in May for what would be the first papal trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories since the late Pope John Paul II travelled there in a 2000 pilgrimage.
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