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Pope Francis Calls For Peace in Gaza and Liberation of Israeli Hostages in Christmas Message

The Pope called for increased aid to alleviate the suffering of the local population.

In his annual Christmas Day address from St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis urged an end to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The spiritual leader also appealed for the release of Israeli hostages currently held by the Palestinian group.

Expressing deep concern over the “appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims,” the Pope pleaded for an immediate cessation of military operations. The war between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7, resulting in a significant loss of life and the taking of hostages.

“I bear in my heart the sorrow of the victims of the abominable attack of 7 October, and I reiterate my urgent appeal for the liberation of those still being held hostage,” Pope Francis said during the traditional Christmas Day message.

Acknowledging the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Pope called for increased aid to alleviate the suffering of the local population. Both sides have reported significant casualties, with more than 20,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli bombing, according to Hamas.

The Pope also extended his prayers for “peace in Ukraine,” which has been grappling with a prolonged conflict with Russia. He expressed hope for political and social stability in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, regions marred by years of war and unrest.

In a broader context, Pope Francis called for peaceful resolutions to conflicts in various parts of the world, including tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, strife in different regions of Africa, and the division between North and South Korea.

He also dedicated a part of his message to millions of migrants worldwide, referring to them as “the little Jesuses of today,” and highlighted the perils faced by those undertaking perilous journeys in search of hope.

The Pope’s Christmas message emphasized the urgency of achieving peace and stability in conflict-ridden regions globally, urging the international community to work towards ending violence and promoting humanitarian efforts.

Kiki Garba

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