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Pope reiterates “firm call” for Gaza ceasefire

Gaza Holy Land

- | AFP

Workers ration out flour during the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza City on March 17, 2024.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/03/24

Notes with sorrow the workers with Chef Jose Andres charity who were killed.

At the end of the general audience in this Octave of Easter, Pope Francis turned his thoughts once again to Gaza, where famine continues to be a threat.

Unfortunately, sad news continues to come from the Middle East. I reiterate my firm call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. I express my deep regret for the volunteers killed while engaged in the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza. I pray for them and their families.

The Pope was referring to workers with a food aid NGO led by world renowned Chef José Andrés.

World Central Kitchen workers from Australia, Britain, and Poland as well as Palestinians and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, were among those killed. The workers were in two armored cars with the charity’s logo, and another vehicle.

The Holy Father continued his appeal this April 3:

I renew my appeal for the exhausted and suffering civilian population to be given access to humanitarian aid and for the hostages to be released immediately. Let us avoid all irresponsible attempts to broaden the conflict in the region, and let us work so that this and other wars that continue to bring death and suffering to so many parts of the world may end as soon as possible.

Let us pray and work tirelessly for weapons to be silenced and for peace to reign once again.

Jose Andres workers Gaza World Central Kitchen Holy Land
Palestinians are standing next to a vehicle in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2024, where employees from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), including foreigners, were killed in an Israeli airstrike, according to the NGO.

2nd time this week

This is the 2nd time this week that the Pope has begged for a ceasefire in Gaza. On Easter Sunday, at the urbi et orbi blessing, he said:

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 7 October last and for an immediate cease-fire in the Strip.

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. How much suffering we see in the eyes of the children: The children in those lands at war have forgotten how to smile! With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction? War is always an absurdity, war is always a defeat! 

Holy LandIsraelPope FrancisWar
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