Pope Francis reups call for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Francis is renewing his call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and for the return of hostages taken by Hamas on October 7.

“May both sides involved have courage to take up the negotiations again, and I ask everyone to take on the urgent job of getting humanitarian aid to the population of Gaza. They are at the end of their rope and really need it,” he says at the end of his weekly general audience.

“Free all the hostages immediately who saw some hope in the ceasefire a few days ago. May this great suffering for the Israelis and the Palestinians end. Please no to arms and yes to peace,” he adds.

Francis has sought to maintain the Vatican’s traditional neutrality in conflicts, but he has angered Israelis in particular with his generic reference to the war degenerating into “terrorism” without explicitly condemning Hamas for its initial attack.

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