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Pope Francis calls for peace in Gaza; says conflict is making him suffer



Pope Francis said Friday in a message to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that he suffered “greatly” from the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“I suffer greatly because of the conflict in Palestine and Israel,” said the 87-year-old pontiff in a message sent to the Al Arabiya Network to mark the end of the Ramadan fast.

“May there be an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, where a humanitarian catastrophe is ongoing. May aid be allowed to reach the Palestinian people who are suffering greatly, and may the hostages taken in October be released!” said Francis.

In his message released by the Vatican, he also cited “war-torn Syria, Lebanon and the entire Middle East.”

“Enough! Stop!” said the pope.

“Please, put an end to the clash of arms and think of the children, all the children, as you do your own children,” he said.

“They need homes, parks and schools, not tombs and mass graves.”

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war erupted with Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in about 1,170 deaths in Israel, mostly  civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 33,634 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

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