Pope Commemorates Six-Month Anniversary of Hostage Crisis, Meets Families

April 9, 2024 by No Comments

VATICAN CITY (AP) — met Monday with relatives of hostages taken by on Oct. 7, marking the six-month anniversary of the attack in southern Israel. Those relatives were allowed into the building for an hour-long audience.The Vatican released photos of the encounter, showing relatives of several of the hostages gathered in a semicircle in front of Francis in his private library in the Apostolic Palace. Each person held a poster that displayed a photo and the name of their loved one.This was the second time that Francis has met with relatives of the hostages. On Nov. 22, he had a meeting with a delegation of Israelis, then separately met with a delegation of Palestinians whose relatives had been harmed during the lengthy Mideast conflict.Francis has called for the immediate release of the hostages and a cease-fire in Gaza, and he has stated that humanitarian aid must be quickly provided to those in need.”He very clearly expressed his support for the release of the hostages,” Waxman Bakshi told reporters after the meeting.Ashley Waxman Bakshi, relative of hostages Agah and Li-Yah Berger, said that the audience was “very powerful” for the families.