| 18 July 2024, Thursday |

Pope urges ‘stop in the name of God’, calls for Gaza humanitarian aid

Pope Francis made an urgent plea for a halt to the conflict in Gaza on Sunday, calling for humanitarian aid and help for those injured in order to ease the “very grave” situation.

“I keep thinking about the grave situation in Palestine and Israel where many people have lost their life. I pray you to stop in the name of god, cease the fire,” he said, speaking to crowds in St Peter’s Square after his weekly Angelus prayer.

“I hope that all will be done to avoid the conflict from widening, that the injured will be rescued and aid will arrive to the population of Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is very grave,” he said.

The pontiff renewed his calls for a ceasefire and for the release of hostages taken by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack, focusing on the children, who he said “must return to their families”.

“Let’s think about the children, all the children involved in this war, like in Ukraine and in other conflicts, their future is being killed,” he added.

Francis, 86, has already called for the creation of humanitarian corridors and has said a two-state solution was needed to put an end to the Israel-Hamas war.

A Gaza health official said on Sunday more than 9,770 Palestinians have been killed in the war, which began when Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 240 others hostage.

The Pope said that his prayers we also addressed to the Nepal earthquake victims, Afghan refugees and the victims in Italy’s floods.

  • Reuters