Pope Francis calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Pope Francis reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all Israeli captives in a peace-focused address marking Easter Sunday, the most important day on the Christian calendar.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in a packed St. Peter’s Square before delivering his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing and message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

“I reiterate my call to ensure that Gaza has access to humanitarian aid, and reiterate my call for the immediate release of the hostages seized on October 7 last year and for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

“We cannot allow the current hostilities to continue to have a severe impact on civilians, which are now reaching their limits, especially children,” he said in a speech that also addressed the plight of Haitians, Rohingyas and human trafficking. victim.

“How much pain we see in the eyes of children, in those war zones, children have forgotten to smile. Children ask us with their eyes: Why? Why is it all death? Why is there so much destruction? War is always Absurd and a failure,” he said.

Francis, 87, has been in poor health in recent weeks, forcing him to repeatedly limit public speaking and cancel events, as he did on Good Friday, skipping a Colosseum procession at short notice.

However, he participated in other Holy Week activities before Easter as normal and appeared to be in relatively good spirits at Sunday Mass. Easter celebrates the day when believers believe Jesus rose from the dead.

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After the ceremony, the Pope took an open-top papal car to tour the square and the avenue connecting the Vatican and the Tiber River, and greeted tens of thousands of people waiting in line.

This year, Francis said he was particularly concerned about the people of Ukraine and Gaza and all those facing war, especially children who he said “have forgotten how to smile.” Francis has repeatedly expressed regret for the death and destruction caused by the war in Gaza.

UNICEF reported earlier this month that Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in Gaza since the war broke out on October 7, while others were so severely malnourished that they “didn’t even have the strength to cry.”

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said on Sunday that at least 32,782 Palestinians have been killed in the besieged enclave during the nearly six months of war. A Health Ministry statement said at least 77 people died and 75,298 others were injured in the past 24 hours.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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