A Palestinian man sits on the rubble of a building at the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza A Palestinian man sits on the rubble of a building at the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza  (ANSA)

Pope renews appeals for ceasefire in Holy Land, release of hostages

Pope Francis renews his appeal for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, and prays for people suffering from wars in various parts of the world, including in Ukraine.

By Devin Watkins and Nathan Morley

“May we think about the children, all the children involved in this war, as well as in Ukraine and other conflicts: we are killing their future in this way.”

Pope Francis made that appeal for an end to the war in the Holy Land on Sunday at the Angelus prayer.

“I implore you to stop, in the name of God,” he said, adding: “Cease fire!”

The Pope expressed his hopes that “every possible avenue is pursued to absolutely avoid an escalation of the conflict, to provide assistance to the wounded, and to deliver aid to the population of Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is extremely dire.”

He also called for the release of the over 200 Israeli hostages who were taken during Hamas’ deadly incursion on 7 October.

“Among them are also many children; may they return to their families!” he appealed.

Pope Francis concluded his appeal by inviting everyone to gather the courage to end the war.

“Let's pray that we have the strength to say 'enough’,” he said.

Situation in Gaza

Israel is continuing to press its offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza, urging civilians in the northern part of the territory to move to the south.

On the ground, the Palestinian Red Crescent says 15 people were killed when an ambulance was struck outside Gaza City's biggest hospital. According to reports, Israel said it hit an ambulance that was being used by Hamas.

Israel began bombing Gaza after Hamas killed more than 1,400 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 200 others.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier, on Saturday, Mr. Blinken encountered leaders from Lebanon, Qatar and Jordan in Amman, as he seeks a humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said there will be no temporary ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza until all Israeli hostages are released.

Speaking to the press, Mr. Blinken has offered his condolences over the deaths of United Nations aid workers in Gaza who have been killed since the war with Israel erupted.

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

05 November 2023, 12:33