Amid the resurgence of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Pope Francis voiced his deep regret over the cessation of the recently extended truce. The pontiff, currently grappling with health issues, conveyed his sentiments through an assistant, underscoring the gravity of the situation marked by death, suffering, and destruction. The Pope's call for an immediate reinstatement of the ceasefire came as a beacon of hope amidst the escalating crisis.
Shattered Peace and Renewed Hostilities
The truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, extended by an additional two days, ended on Thursday. This led to the revival of hostilities between the Israeli army and the group labeled as terrorist, shattering the short-lived peace in the region. The Pope's sorrow over the broken truce was palpable as he expressed his desire for the involved parties to reach a new ceasefire 'as soon as possible.'
The Pope's Health and Cancelled Engagements
Meanwhile, Pope Francis, who is due to turn 87 this December, has been battling various health concerns. These range from issues affecting his knees, hips, and colon, to enduring the consequences of a partial lung ablation from his youth. As a result of these health complications, the Vatican announced that the Pope would avoid the traditional Angelus prayer in the open to prevent exposure to temperature fluctuations. These health concerns also led to the cancellation of his anticipated visit to Dubai for a UN climate conference.
Despite the Pope's absence, his message was not lost. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin attended the UN climate conference in his stead, conveying the Pope's message urging a 'turning point' to accelerate the ecological transition.