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Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa Of Jerusalem Offers Himself In Exchange For Hostages In Gaza

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The Holy Land envoy of Pope Francis declared on Monday that he would be prepared to swap places with Israeli youngsters kidnapped and detained in Gaza by Hamas.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, responded to a query during a video conference with Italian journalists. “I am ready for an exchange, anything, if this can lead to freedom, to bring the children home. No problem. There is total willingness on my part. “The first thing to do is to try to win the release of the hostages, otherwise there will be no way of stopping (an escalation). We are willing to help, even me personally,” he said.

But he made it clear that neither he nor his staff had spoken with Hamas directly, the Islamist terrorist group that assaulted Israel on October 7 and killed 1,300 people. “You can’t talk to Hamas. It is very difficult,” he added.

Approximately one dozen of the 200 or so hostages are thought to be minors.

With an estimated 300,000 Roman Catholics living in the region, Pizzaballa is in charge of Roman Catholic activity in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Cyprus.

Israel is getting ready to launch a ground assault to kill Hamas, therefore diplomatic attempts to get assistance into Gaza have been more intense.

According to Gazan authorities, the Israeli attacks have killed at least 2,750 Palestinians so far, 25% of them were minors, and injured about 10,000 more. It was estimated that another 1,000 individuals were buried beneath the debris.

About a thousand Christians, according to Pizzaballa, were taking refuge in church facilities in northern Gaza after Israeli bombings demolished their houses.

“They don’t know where to go because moving is dangerous,” he stated.

Thousands of Gazans have already left the over 2 million-person enclave to the south after Israel pushed the weary residents to do so. Gaza’s governing group, Hamas, has advised citizens to disregard Israel’s warning.

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