Take Me Instead: Catholic Patriarch Offers Himself for Hostage Swap With Hamas

Take Me Instead: Catholic Patriarch Offers Himself for Hostage Swap With Hamas

(NationRise.com) – The Vatican City’s official representative in Jerusalem has offered himself to be traded as a hostage for children kidnapped by Hamas after the recent attack in Israel.

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa made the offer during a press conference in Italy. He also asked for hostages to be released to stop the situation from escalating even more. They have kidnapped over 200 civilians so far, several of whom are children.

Pizzaballa discussed the difficulty of reaching anyone at Hamas, acknowledging that his office had not yet made contact with the terrorist organization. He was also among the Catholic signatories who requested that the Israeli government allow humanitarian workers access to the Gaza Strip. Eli Cohen, the nation’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the request “inconceivable.”

According to Pizzaballa, over 1,000 Christian parishioners have sought refuge in churches along Gaza’s northern border after losing their homes to the conflict. Roughly 300,000 members of the Roman Catholic church live in the region. Palestinian authorities claim that nearly 3,000 Palestinians have died as a result of the conflict. Over 1400 Israelis have been killed, mostly during the initial surprise attack by Hamas.

The ongoing war against Hamas is Israel’s deadliest conflict in 50 years. Antony Blinken, Biden’s secretary of state, has traveled across the Middle East in an attempt to stifle escalating tensions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working.

Tensions from the war have already led to violent conflicts with Hezbollah along Israel’s border with Lebanon. Iran has also chimed in, threatening to become involved in the war. Undeterred, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the death of every member of Hamas.

Pizzaballa assumed the role of Jersaulem’s Latin Patriarch in 2020. He previously spent 12 years as the Custos of Jerusalem, from 2004 to 2016. He also managed the translation of the Roman Missal into Israel’s native language, Hebrew, despite not speaking the language.

As of this writing, there is no word on whether Hamas is considering the Catholic Patriarch’s offer or has even been made aware of it.

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