Pope Francis calls for ceasefire, 29 October. Pope Francis on Sunday called for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas, repeating his call for the release of hostages held by the Palestinian militant group in Gaza. “Let no one abandon the possibility of a cessation of arms,” he said during the weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square.
“A cease-fire,” he said, referring to a recent televised call by Father Ibrahim Faltas, one of the Vatican’s representatives in the Holy Land. He then added in his own words: “We say ‘truce, truce’. Brothers and sisters, stop! War is always defeat, always”. Referring to the “serious situation in Palestine and Israel,” he said, “Especially in Gaza, space must be left to guarantee humanitarian aid and hope for the immediate release of the hostages,” and spoke of the situation of the Israeli hostages. Posted by Hamas on October 7th. The United Nations refugee agency for Palestine (UNRWA) said on Sunday that thousands of desperate Gazans had broken into its warehouses and distribution centers, grabbing flour and “basic survival items”.
Francis spoke as Israeli forces began a ground operation against Hamas in Gaza, in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said was the second phase of a three-week war aimed at destroying the group.