Pope Francis on Gaza War: ‘No to weapons, yes to peace’

Despite Israeli leaders insisting IDF will continue operation until Hamas has been destroyed, Pope Francis calls for immediate ceasefire, expanded aid to Gaza.

By World Israel News Staff

Pope Francis on Wednesday reiterated his support for an immediate and permanent ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization, and called for the entry of expanded aid to the Gaza Strip.

Speaking at the end of his weekly General Audience Wednesday, the Pope referenced the ongoing war in Gaza, now in its third month.

The Pope said he was both concerned and pained by the ongoing war, and called for a humanitarian ceasefire.

“I continue to follow the conflict in Israel and Palestine with much worry and pain,” Pope Francis said.

“I renew my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire: there is so much suffering there.”

“I encourage all parties involved to resume negotiations,” the Pope added, “and call on everyone to make an urgent commitment to get humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.”

Gazans, Pope Francis continued, are “on their last legs, and really need it.”

The Pope also referenced the over 130 Israeli captives still held by terrorists in the Gaza Strip, calling for their immediate release.

“Let all hostages, who had seen hope in the truce a few days ago, be freed immediately, so that this great suffering for Israelis and Palestinians might come to an end.”

Read  Surrender, exile of Hamas instead of Rafah invasion: Minister

“Please,” Pope Francis said at the end of his sermon, “No to weapons, yes to peace.”

Last month, Pope Francis met with relatives of Israelis held captive in the Gaza Strip, but came under fire after he appeared to accuse Israel of “terrorism.”

Later, it was revealed that the Pope had explicitly labelled Israel’s response to the October 7th invasion as “terrorism” during a late October phone call with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Israeli Ambassador to the Vatican immediately pushed back, saying, “There is a simple distinction: one side is murdering, raping, and does not care about those on their own side. The other side is engaged in a war of self-defense.”

The Assembly of Italian Rabbis was horrified that the pontiff’s “problematic statements” contained “no trace of condemnation of Hamas aggression…in the name of supposed impartiality, they equate aggressor and aggressed.”