Pope calls for ceasefire in Gaza, exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine

 April 1, 2024

Pope Francis presided over mass at the Vatican this past Sunday before delivering his annual Easter message to Catholics worldwide.

At one point in his remarks, Francis called for an end to the war in Gaza as he highlighted its terminal consequences.

Pope demands ceasefire in Gaza

"I appeal once again that access to humanitarian aid be ensured to Gaza, and call once more for the prompt release of the hostages seized on last October 7 and for an immediate ceasefire in the [Gaza] Strip," Axios quoted the pontiff as saying.

"How much suffering we see in the eyes of children, the children have forgotten to smile in those war zones," Francis continued.

"With their eyes, children ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction? War is always an absurdity and a defeat," the pope insisted.

Francis calls for prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia

According to NPR, Francis went on to state, "Peace is never made with weapons, but with outstretched hands and open hearts."

"Let us not allow the current hostilities to continue to have grave repercussions on the civil population, by now at the limit of its endurance, and above all on the children," he declared.

In addition to commenting on events in the Middle East, Francis also asked for talks between the governments of Ukraine and Russia.

"In calling for respect for the principles of international law, I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: all for the sake of all," he said.

Former Israeli hostage describes being raped by Hamas kidnapper

Interestingly, the pope did not point out that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was in place prior to the terror attack last October which left an estimated 1,400 people killed.

In addition to the killings, Hamas terrorists also committed rape on a mass scale, something former Israeli hostage Amit Soussana described last month.

"He came towards me and shoved the gun at my forehead. He sat me on the edge of the bath," Fox News quoted Soussana as saying of her kidnapper.

"And I closed my legs. And I resisted. And he kept punching me and put his gun in my face. Then he, with the gun pointed at me, forced me to commit a sexual act on him," she recalled.

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