The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, is ready to exchange himself for children captured by the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Pizzaballa told reporters.
“I am ready for an exchange, for anything, if it leads to freedom, to the return of children home. No problem. There is complete readiness on my part,” transmits his words to Reuters.
Pizzaballa believes that it is necessary to achieve the release of the hostages, otherwise it will be impossible to stop the escalation. At the same time, the patriarch clarified that he and his office did not have direct contacts with Hamas.
As a result of the attack on Israel by Hamas militants have taken According to the latest data, 199 people were taken hostage. Among the hostages are a large number of children, elderly people and women. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) previously noted that they have “some information” about the whereabouts of the prisoners and assured that they would not take actions that could endanger the lives of civilians.
On the morning of October 7, the Palestinian group Hamas began military operations against Israel. The IDF responded by launching Operation Iron Swords, striking hundreds of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government announced that the country had entered a state of war.
In total, the death toll during the Palestinian-Israeli conflict exceeded 4,000 people. According to Al Jazeera TV channel, the death toll on the Israeli side reached 1,400 people, and on the Palestinian side – exceeded 2,670.