Israeli grandmother beseeches Pope Francis to intervene on behalf of Gaza captives

A grandmother from Kfar Aza with relatives who were murdered and taken hostage pleads with Pope Francis to demand the release of hostages in Gaza.

By World Israel News Staff

Varda Goldstein, a grandmother from kibbutz Kfar Aza, made a desperate appeal to Pope Francis to advocate for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

On October 7th, Varda Goldstein lost her niece Yam and her son Nadav in the terrorist attack.

Her daughter-in-law and three grandchildren were kidnapped and taken as hostages to Gaza.

In her letter to Pope Francis, the grandmother described her kibbutz as a peaceful place with 900 inhabitants and recounted the destruction brought about by the brutal terror attack.

“On Saturday, 7 October 2023, hundreds of Hamas terrorists broke into the kibbutz and destroyed, burned, and looted all the houses.”

“Sixty-one of our friends were murdered and burnt in their homes, including my 48-year-old son, Nadav, and 20-year-old niece, Yam. My daughter-in-law, Chen, 48, and my three grandchildren, Agam, 18, Gal, 11, and Tal, 9, were brutally kidnapped by Hamas and taken to the Gaza Strip.”

Goldstein reminded the Pope of his previous statements condemning antisemitism and pleaded with him to do anything in his power to facilitate a safe return.

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“I turn to You, Holy Father, most merciful. Please take action so they may return home safely.”

Pope Francis condemned the Hamas massacre, but during a sermon, prayed for a ceasefire in Gaza; “I pray you to stop in the name of God.” He also insisted that the Israeli hostages, “must be returned to their families.”

When interviewed on the Italian television station RAI, Pope Francis said that “The war in the Holy Land scares me, ” and added, “The only solution to the conflict is a two-state solution.”