Pope Francis has called for the extension of the current truce in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, as reported by Vatican news. This appeal comes amidst escalating tensions and continuing military actions in the region.
A Plea for Peace and Humanitarian Aid
Addressing a congregation during his weekly audience, Pope Francis expressed his deep concern for the situation in Gaza.
“I hope that the truce in Gaza might continue so that all the hostages might be freed, and the necessary humanitarian aid might be able to enter,” he said. Emphasizing the dire need for peace, he added, “May we please continue to pray for the serious situation in Israel and Palestine.
Peace, please, peace”. The Pope's call highlights the urgent need for continued efforts towards peace and the provision of humanitarian aid to the affected populations. His words echo a growing international concern for the escalating violence and the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Escalation in Jenin: A Symbol of Resistance
The situation on the ground remains tense, particularly in Jenin, a town in the occupied West Bank known as a symbol of Palestinian resistance. According to reports from Al Jazeera, the Israeli army has conducted extensive raids in Jenin and its refugee camp, lasting over 12 hours.
This operation included the demolition of two homes in the ad-Damj neighbourhood and significant damage to local infrastructure, including roads and water mains. These military actions have led to the detention of at least 20 people, including family members of individuals labeled as “wanted” by Israel.
Medical officials reported that at least six people were injured in the raids, including two children. Moreover, the Israeli forces imposed blockades on the entrances of two main hospitals in the area, further complicating the already challenging humanitarian situation.
The Toll of the Conflict
Since the beginning of the conflict on October 7, the violence has resulted in substantial casualties and injuries. At least 242 Palestinians have been killed, and over 3,000 wounded. Among the deceased are 57 children, one woman, and six prisoners who died in Israeli custody.
These figures underscore the devastating impact of the ongoing conflict on civilian life and the urgent need for a sustainable resolution. The Pope's appeal for an extended truce and his call for peace resonate as a crucial reminder of the human costs of this conflict and the dire need for concerted international efforts to bring about lasting peace in the region.