Israel-Hamas War: “Our heart this evening is in Bethlehem,” Pope Francis says during Christmas Mass

“Our heart this evening is in Bethlehem,” declared Pope Francis on Sunday evening, December 24, during Christmas mass, while the festivities in the West Bank city were overshadowed by the war between Israel and the Hamas

Israel-Hamas War: “Our heart this evening is in Bethlehem,” Pope Francis says during Christmas Mass

“Our heart this evening is in Bethlehem,” declared Pope Francis on Sunday evening, December 24, during Christmas mass, while the festivities in the West Bank city were overshadowed by the war between Israel and the Hamas. “Our heart, this evening, is in Bethlehem, where the principle of peace is still rejected by the losing logic of war, with the clash of arms which, even today, prevents it from finding a place in the world ", he said from St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, where he was delivering mass.

Around 6,500 faithful attended the mass presided over by the Argentine pope, in the presence of religious leaders and the diplomatic corps, according to the Vatican. Hundreds of others followed her on giant screens installed outside, on Saint-Pierre Square.

Mecca of Christianity, the city of Bethlehem – where Christ was born, according to tradition – was deserted by pilgrims this year and canceled the majority of Christmas celebrations due to the war.

Sunday noon, during the weekly Angelus prayer, the sovereign pontiff had already mentioned the conflict in the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli army intensified its bombings in the south of the territory on Sunday. “We are close to our brothers and sisters who suffer from war: let us think of Palestine, of Israel, of Ukraine,” Pope Francis said.

The Argentine Jesuit will pronounce, Monday, December 25 at noon, his traditional urbi et orbi blessing (“to the city and to the world”), during which he traditionally gives an overview of conflicts in the world.