Pope Francis is expected to meet next week with relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas activists, and separately with a Palestinian delegation that includes some people from Gaza, sources said on Friday the 17th. Reuters Regarding the scheduled visit to the Palestinians, after the agency reported, on Friday, the 17th of this month, a meeting with relatives of the hostages. Both will be held on Wednesday 22nd in the Vatican.
The sources said Reuters On condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss papal plans. A source said that 12 relatives of the Israeli hostages will meet the Pope on Wednesday morning before his weekly general meeting.
According to this source, they will be a mix of relatives who met with the Italian leaders last month and others who were not from the first group. The two sources who spoke about the meeting with the Palestinians said that they do not yet know when it will be held on Wednesday.
“They’re still working on it,” one announced.
One of the sources who spoke about the meeting with the Palestinians said that the Pope wanted to hold the meetings “as a humanitarian gesture to listen to the complaints of both sides.”
The “key points” of the crisis
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s second-in-command, said on Friday that the Holy See believes the release of the hostages and a ceasefire – which Israel has so far ruled out – are “key points” for resolving the crisis. Parolin told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Rome that the Vatican was working to hold a meeting between the Pope and the relatives of the hostages, but he did not give a time frame.
He added: “We are working on it and hope to complete it as soon as possible.” “The release of the hostages is one of the fundamental points for resolving the current situation, taking into account the humanitarian aspects of the detainees – men, women, children, newborns and pregnant women.”
Hamas militants took about 240 hostages when they invaded southern Israel on October 7.
Francis made several calls for their release and a ceasefire.
“The other main point is the ceasefire, taking into account the humanitarian aspects accompanying it, such as the arrival of aid, the recovery of the wounded, and other aspects,” Parolin said.
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