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24 May, 2024
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Pope Francis calls for Gaza ceasefire and hostage release on Easter

Pontiff's peace-focused address highlights urgency for humanitarian aid and end to conflict

Source: Reuters

Pope Francis renewed his calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all Israeli hostages in a peace-focused Easter Sunday address, marking Christianity's most important day.

Francis presided over Mass in a crowded St. Peter's Square, delivering his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

Despite recent health challenges, the 87-year-old pontiff appeared in relatively good spirits at Sunday's Mass, celebrating Easter, which commemorates Jesus' resurrection.

Following the service, Francis toured St. Peter's Square and greeted thousands of well-wishers from his open-topped popemobile.

Expressing concern for Gaza's plight, Francis appealed for humanitarian aid access and demanded the prompt release of hostages taken last October, urging an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn region.

In a poignant message, he lamented the suffering of children in conflict zones, emphasizing the absurdity and futility of war.

Cyprus  |  Easter  |  World

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