Pope Francis urges global ceasefire and two-state solution in Israel and Palestine during New Year address

VATICAN — In his New Year address, Pope Francis issued a heartfelt plea for an immediate ceasefire on all global conflict fronts, particularly highlighting the escalating crises in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Pope called upon the international community to prioritize efforts towards implementing a comprehensive two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

Expressing deep concern over the mounting casualties resulting from conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza, Pope Francis implored for an end to hostilities worldwide. He specifically addressed the distressing events in Israel and Palestine, emphasizing the shock felt by the global community in response to the events of 7 October. The subsequent military actions by Israel resulted in the tragic loss of thousands of Palestinian lives, predominantly children and women, creating an alarming humanitarian crisis and unprecedented suffering.

The Pope called for an immediate ceasefire on all fronts, extending to Lebanon, and urged the swift release of all hostages in Gaza. He further demanded that Palestinians receive essential humanitarian aid while emphasizing the imperative need for the protection of hospitals, schools, and places of worship.

Pope Francis called on the international community to actively pursue a two-state solution, emphasizing the special status of Jerusalem with international guarantees. “Peace is a responsibility incumbent on all of us,” he stated. The Pope envisioned a future where Israelis and Palestinians coexist in peace and security, underscoring the importance of concerted global efforts to bring about lasting harmony in the region.