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Pope Francis meets relatives of Israeli hostages being held in Gaza (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis met yesterday with relatives of Israeli hostages being held in Gaza since October 7. Source: Vatican News.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the private encounter took place in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

During the families of the hostages’ stay in Italy, there are also meetings scheduled with various representatives of political institutions, and with members of the Jewish community.

This marks the second meeting of the Pope with relatives of Israeli hostages.

In November 2023, the Holy Father met with a group of hostage relatives in his residence, as well as with another group, separately, of relatives of those suffering from the war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The delegation that came to Rome is composed of Bezalel Shnaider, aunt of Shiri Bibas, the woman taken away with her two children, 4-year-old Ariel and 9-month-old Kfir (the youngest of the hostages who celebrated his first year of life in captivity); Gal Dalal, survivor of the Supernova Festival and brother of 22-year-old Guy, kidnapped during the rave.

Also present was a mother, Merav Gilboa Dalal; Naama Miran, sister of 46-year-old Omri Miran, kidnapped in the Nir Oz kibbutz; Lee Yam Berger, twin sister of Agam, a 19-year-old soldier, kidnapped at the Nahal Oz military base; cousin Sarah Waxman Bakshi; and Alon and Amit Nimrodi, father and sister of Tamir, a soldier taken by Hamas from the Cogat base.

Pope Francis has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip to facilitate access to humanitarian aid, for negotiations to end the war, and for the release of the hostages.


Pope Francis meets with relatives of hostages held by Hamas (By Deborah Castellano Lubov, Vatican News)