Pope Francis meets with families of Israeli hostages being held in Gaza

In a separate meeting on the same day, the pope also met with 10 Palestinians, some of whom had family members die in air strikes on Gaza.
Pope Francis’ meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian delegations occurred as news emerged that a four-day cease-fire agreement had been reached in which Hamas agreed to free at least 50 of the roughly 240 hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
“I know that my son is not part of this exchange,” Evgeniia Kozlova told journalists after meeting the pope, noting that she does not know how long she will have to wait to hear if her child will ever return home.
Rachel Goldberg, whose only son was kidnapped at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7, said that she hopes that the meeting with the pope will help bring more attention to hostages who are still waiting to be freed. 
“I think that the Holy Father has a lot of influence in the entire world. Aside from the 1.3 billion Catholics that certainly revere and respect him, I think he’s very respected in the Muslim world, in the Jewish world, really, irrespective of religious background. And so I think when he speaks, the world really listens,” Goldberg told EWTN News.
“The hostages come from almost 30 different countries. They span in age from nine months to 87 years old … and so this issue of the hostages is really a global humanitarian catastrophe and needs to be treated as such.”

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