Pope Francis has called for the continuation of the truce in the Gaza Strip for the release of all hostages and for humanitarian aid access into the territory.
The 87-year-old pope, who has been unwell, made the appeal for the Holy Land at the end of his General Audience on Wednesday morning, November 29.
“I hope that the truce underway in Gaza might continue, so that all the hostages might be freed, and the necessary humanitarian aid might be able to enter.”
“May we please continue to pray for the serious situation in Israel and Palestine,” the Pope said. “Peace, please, peace.”
Calling for the temporary ceasefire to be extended, he noted that he had recently spoken by phone with Gaza’s Catholic parish of the Holy Family.
“They don’t have water; they don’t have bread; ordinary people are suffering; the people are suffering,” he said. “It’s not those who make war who are suffering.”
“Let us now,” Pope Francis added, “ask for peace, and let us not forget, while asking for peace, the dear Ukrainian people, who are suffering a lot and still fighting a war.”
“War is always a defeat,” he concluded. “Everyone loses. Well, not everyone—there’s a group that earns a lot. Those who make weapons. They earn a lot from the deaths of others.”
Hamas and Israel agreed to a 48-hour extension of the truce on Monday, which is due to end at midnight on Wednesday without another extension.
Both sides are expected to release more hostages and prisoners with Hamas terrorists calling for extension.