Pope Francis asked this Monday the cessation of military operations in Gaza, the release of the hostages and that the Palestinian issue be facedin his Christmas message, which he read while looking out from the balcony of the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica before the ‘urbi et orbi’ blessing.

In this message, in which Pope Francis lists the world’s conflicts, he asked that peace “arrive in Israel and Palestinewhere war shakes the lives of those populations” and added: “I embrace both, in particular the Christian communities of Gaza, the parish of Gaza, and the entire Holy Land.”

The pope assured that he has “in the heart the pain for the victims of the execrable attack of last October 7” although he did not mention the Hamas Islamists, and renewed his call “for the release of those still held hostage.”

And he continued: “I beg that military operations, with their dramatic consequences of innocent civilian victims, cease and that the desperate humanitarian situation be remedied by allowing the arrival of aid.”

On the other hand, he urged “that stop fueling violence and hatredbut that a solution to the Palestinian question be found, through sincere and persevering dialogue between the parties, supported by strong political will and the support of the international community.”

This Sunday, the wife of the Israeli Prime Minister, Sara Netanyahu, sent an open letter to Pope Francis requesting su “personal intervention” and “his influence” for the release of 129 hostages still heldsince he considered that the pontiff’s intervention could be decisive in saving their lives.

On November 22, Francis received a group of relatives of some hostages held by Hamas and has asked for a new truce so that they can all be released, as well as meeting with people close to Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

During the message, he also asked for the end of the war in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen or for an end to tensions between the two Koreas and in Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And he called for the production of weapons to stop and criticized the allocation of enormous amounts of public funds to weapons.

“But to say no to war it is necessary to say no to weapons. Because if the man, whose heart is unstable and wounded, finds instruments of death in his hands, sooner or later he will use them. And how can we talk about peace if the production, sale and trade of weapons increase?“Francisco observed.