Pope Francis issues serious warning on Israel-Gaza war

Pope Francis has waded into the ongoing attacks and violence in Israel and Gaza, saying enough to the killings that had claimed children and women among others.

Francis, who called on the humanitarian corridors to allow the delivery of essentials to the Gaza Strip, which is under heavy Israeli bombardment following a bloody attack by its rulers, Hamas, insisted humanitarian laws must be respected in the midst of the fighting.

Report, however, claimed conditions in Gaza hospitals were so critical that health workers had begun to store bodies in ice cream freezer trucks because moving them to hospitals has become too risky, even as cemeteries were reportedly full.

This was as the Israeli forces were last night readying for a ground invasion of Gaza.

Conversely, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency published comments yesterday by President Mahmoud Abbas, criticising Hamas over its actions but later removed reference to the militant group without any explanations.

Concerns had increased over a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where Israel has reportedly cut off water, food and power, vowing to maintain the complete siege until all hostages taken by the Palestinian Islamist militant group were freed.

In the eight days since Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,300 Israelis in their attack, Israel has responded with a devastating bombing campaign that hadclaimed over 2,300 lives in Gaza.

But the Pope, who spoke after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square, said, “Humanitarian law must be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors and help the population.

“I strongly urge that children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians should not fall victim to the conflict.

“There have already been so many deaths, please let’s not shed any more innocent blood, not in the Holy Land, not in Ukraine, not anywhere else. Enough is enough. War is always a defeat,” he said, castigating “the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war.”

Pope Francis also renewed his call “for the release of the hostages” kidnapped by Hamas fighters in southern Israel, and invited “all believers to unite in prayer with the Church in the Holy Land” on Tuesday.

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