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Pope Francis pleads for peace in Israel and Palestine, calls for humanitarian urgency

Pope Francis expressed his concern and solidarity with the suffering Palestinians and Israelis during his address following the Sunday Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square.

“Let us not lose hope: let us pray and work tirelessly so that the sense of humanity may prevail over hardness of heart,” he said.

He said that he remembers and prays for them daily, offering his virtual “embrace” during what he described as a “difficult moment” in the region. 

The Pope urged an immediate halt to the violence and appealed for urgent humanitarian aid.

“May the weapons be stopped: they will never lead to peace, and may the conflict not widen! Enough! Enough, brothers!” Pope Francis implored, emphasizing the urgency of halting the violence that has gripped the Middle East.

Specifically addressing the situation in Gaza, the pontiff called for immediate rescue efforts for the wounded, protection for civilians caught in the crossfire, and increased humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the population.

“Every human being, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, of any people or religion, every human being is sacred, is precious in the eyes of God, and has the right to live in peace,” declared Pope Francis, underscoring the universal significance of the plea for peace in the region.

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The Pope also appealed for the release of hostages, including the elderly and children, who have become innocent victims of the conflict. He urged the international community to unite in prayer and work for a resolution that prioritizes the sanctity of human life.

More than 11,100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, although the number has not been updated since contact was lost with key hospitals on Friday. In Israel, the death toll from Hamas’s attacks stands at more than 1,200, having been revised downwards.

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