Pope: End of Gaza truce means ‘death, destruction and misery’

Speaking after his Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis expresses his “pain” at the renewal of hostilities in Gaza, inviting those involved to “take courageous paths of peace.”

By Joseph Tulloch

“It pains me that the truce has been broken: this means death, destruction, misery.”

Those were Pope Francis’ words on the end of the Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement, which broke down on Friday.

As the Pope is recovering from an inflammation of the lungs, his reflections were read aloud by Msgr. Paolo Braida, an official of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, while the Pope sat beside him.

“Many hostages have been freed,” the Pope continued, “but many are still in Gaza. We think of them, of their families who had seen a light, a hope that they might embrace their loved ones again.”

He added that “there is so much suffering in Gaza; there is a lack of basic necessities.”

“I hope,” he said, “that all those involved can reach a new ceasefire agreement as soon as possible and find solutions other than arms, trying to take courageous paths to peace.”

Pope Francis has repeatedly called for the release of all hostages in Gaza, and for an immediate end to the hostilities there.

On Wednesday 22nd November, he met with a group of Palestinians with relatives in Gaza, and with individuals whose family members are being held hostage by Hamas.