• Friday, December 01, 2023
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Pope renews call for release of Hamas hostages in Gaza Strip

Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Sunday reiterated his demand that the Islamist militant group Hamas releases all hostages taken to the Gaza Strip last weekend during the group’s major attack.

Pope Francis renewed the call during weekly prayers at St Peter’s Square in Rome.

“I renew my call for the release of the hostages, and I strongly demand that children, the elderly, women and all civilians do not become victims of the conflict,” he said.

Speaking ahead of an expected ground offensive on Gaza by Israeli troops, he also called for humanitarian corridors to be set up in the coastal enclave to save “the entire population.”

Read also A short history of Gaza, an Economist perspective

Hamas is believed to be holding more than 150 hostages seized last weekend. Among the hostages are Israelis and citizens of other countries.

Francis also said the suffering of the people of Ukraine, who have been under attack by Russia since February 2022, should not be forgotten.

“Enough is enough,” the pope said, adding: “War always means failure – always.