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Israel-Hamas: Pope, Others React As War Casualties Surge

The Israel-Hamas war has triggered reactions from many institutions, country’s and concerned personalities, especially Pope Francis who urged Hamas to release Israeli hostages and Israel to spare Gaza civilians amid the ongoing warfare.

He wrote on X, “I continue to follow with great sorrow what is happening in Israel and Palestine,”

“I renew my appeal for the freeing of the hostages and I strongly ask that children, the sick, the elderly, women, and all civilians not be made victims of the conflict.”

The pope further said, “Humanitarian law is to be respected, especially in Gaza.”

“Please, let no more innocent blood be shed, neither in the Holy Land nor in Ukraine, nor in any other place! Enough! Wars are always a defeat, always!” he added in a separate post shortly after.

So far, the war has prompted a whole lot of occurrences, ranging from death, displacement of families, and destruction of buildings. The death toll in the war between Israel and Hamas is currently almost 4,000, while the number of injured victims has increased to 10,000 and counting. Israel at the moment is ready for a ground invasion of Gaza.

Based on the latest report, from Gaza’s Ministry of Health, at least 2,670 people were killed and another 9,600 wounded in Gaza, more than half of those killed (52 per cent) were women and children, NBC News reports.

According to the Israeli prime minister’s press office, the report added that more than 1,400 people had been killed in Israel and 3,500 wounded, while at least 120 people had been abducted.

AFP also reported that the Israeli military said on Sunday it had confirmed 155 people were being held hostage by Hamas since the Palestinian militant group staged its deadly attack last week.

Military spokesman, Daniel Hagari said, families of “155 hostages” have been contacted by the authorities. This was an update of an earlier figure confirming 126 hostages.

In the mood of peace and reconciliation, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, has called on Israel to “stop the collective punishment of Gaza”, stressing that all parties should “return to the negotiating table as soon as possible.”

Wang stated that Beijing was “communicating intensively with all parties to promote a ceasefire and an end to the war,” according to a readout of a call he made to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, provided by the Chinese Foreign Ministry late Friday.

“Israel’s actions have gone beyond the scope of self-defence, and it should seriously listen to the calls of the international community and the United Nations Secretary-General to stop collective punishment of the people of Gaza,” the readout said.

Another call for peace was made by, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly who urged Israel to avoid causing civilian casualties as it prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.

In the words of Cleverly, “I have said it’s in Israel’s interest to avoid civilian casualties and Palestinian casualties because Hamas clearly wants to turn this into a wider Arab-Israeli war or indeed a war between the Muslim world and the wider world and none of us, including Israel, want that to be the case.”

Meanwhile, AU, Arab League in a joint statement on Sunday warned that Israel’s planned ground invasion of Gaza “could lead to a genocide of unprecedented proportions,” the heads of the Arab League and African Union.

AFP also revealed that both organisations called on “the United Nations and the international community to stop a catastrophe unfolding in front of us, before it is too late,” as Israel readies for a ground invasion following Hamas’s surprise attack last week.


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