Catholic Patriarch In Jerusalem Offers Himself as an Exchange for Hostages in Gaza

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Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Pope Francis’ representative in Israel and surrounding Palestinian territories, has offered himself as an exchange for Israeli hostages in Gaza in a recent video call with journalists in Italy. Pizzaballa is the overseer for the Roman Catholics in much of the Middle East, which is home to around 300,00 Catholic members. “The first thing to do is to try to win the release of the hostages, otherwise there will be no way of stopping (an escalation). We are willing to help, even me personally,” he said.  Pizzaballa stressed that he and his staff have had no direct contact with Hamas since the October 7 attack on Israel.