VATICAN CITY, SEP 5, 1997 (VIS) - Following is the text of the telegram sent - in the Pope's name - by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano to Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, on the occasion of the terrorist attack perpetrated yesterday in Jerusalem:

"His Holiness Pope John Paul II has been deeply saddened by the news of the latest terrible violence perpetrated in the center of Jerusalem. He feels close to the families of the victims, to the injured and to all those - Israelis, Palestinians and people of good will - who are going through the anguish and consternation of this senseless tragedy.

"His Holiness invokes divine mercy on the victims, and he fervently hopes that there will be no further recourse to such violence. Everyone must understand that it is never morally permissible to attack innocent and defenseless people, even to vindicate legitimate claims. Such methods are altogether unacceptable and deserve only the strongest and most categorical condemnation.

"His Holiness appeals to all those directly involved in the peace process and to the members of the international community who are in a position to support this process for an immediate return to dialogue and negotiations, so that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people may be effectively recognized and the State of Israel may be guaranteed just conditions for the security of its citizens." TGR/TRAGEDY/JERUSALEM:SODANO:NETANYAHU VIS 970905 (250)