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Gaza: Pope Francis appeals for ceasefire, aid

Pope Francis waves from his studiio's window overlooking St. Peter's Square at The Vatican, Sunday, June 9, 2024   -  
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Domenico Stinellis/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Gaza attack

Pope Francis called Sunday for humanitarian aid to urgently reach Palestinians in Gaza and for Israel and Hamas to immediately accept proposals for a cease-fire and release of hostages.

During his Sunday noon blessing, Francis also thanked Jordan, which this week will host an international humanitarian aid conference for Palestinians.

“I encourage the international community to act urgently, with all means, to help the war-exhausted population of Gaza,” Francis said. “Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach those in need, and no one can prevent it.”

Francis threw his support behind a cease-fire proposal and said he hoped it would be quickly accepted by both sides, even though he acknowledged negotiations “are not easy.”

“I hope that the peace proposals for a ceasefire on all fronts and for the release of the hostages will be immediately accepted for the good of the Palestinians and the Israelis” he said.

Speaking about Ukraine while greeting a group of Ukrainian pilgrims, Francis also said "let's not forget the martyred Ukrainian people who suffer the most and most yearn for peace.

He also briefly mentioned Myanmar, asking faithful not to forget to pray for peace in that country.