Pope marks six-month anniversary of Hamas attacks by meeting with relatives of hostages | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Pope marks six-month anniversary of Hamas attacks by meeting with relatives of hostages

Relatives of Israeli hostages being held by Hamas, from left, Bezalel Schneider, Dani Miran, Naama Miran, Ashley Waxman Bakshi, Li-Yam Berger, Amit Nimrodi, Alon Nimrodi Meirav Gilboa-Dalal, and Gal Gilboa-Dalal, pose with photos of the kidnapped before a press conference in Rome, Monday, April 8, 2024. Pope Francis met Monday with relatives of hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, marking the six-month anniversary of the attack in southern Israel with an hourlong audience. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis met Monday with relatives of hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, marking the six-month anniversary of the attack in southern Israel with an hour-long audience.

The Vatican released photos of the encounter, showing relatives of several of the hostages sitting in a semicircle in front of Francis in his private library in the Apostolic Palace. Each one held a poster with a photo and the name of a loved one.

It was the second time Francis has met with relatives of the hostages. On Nov. 22, he met with a delegation of Israelis, and then separately a delegation of Palestinians whose relatives had been harmed during the long Mideast conflict.

Francis has called for the immediate release of the hostages and a cease-fire in Gaza, and for humanitarian aid to urgently reach desperate Palestinians.

Ashley Waxman Bakshi, relative of hostages Agah and Li-Yah Berger, said the audience was “very powerful” for the families.

“He was very clear about his solidarity for the release of the hostages,” Waxman Bakshi told reporters afterward.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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