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Report: Pope Francis made a ‘risky’ call about the Gaza war with the Israeli president in October

From CNN’s Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis is surrounded by bishops at the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican on November 29.

Massimo Vallecchia/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Pope Francis spoke by phone with Israeli President Isaac Herzog about the war between Israel and Hamas in late October.

She described the conversation between the couple as a “tensioned phone call.” Washington Post report Thursday, citing a senior Israeli official familiar with the call, which had not been previously reported.

Herzog was telling Francis about the unprecedented level of shock that Israel felt after the Hamas attack on October 7, when the Pope said frankly that “it is forbidden to respond to terrorism with terrorism,” according to the newspaper, citing the Israeli official.

A Vatican source on Friday confirmed to CNN that a phone call between the Israeli president and the pope took place at the end of October, but CNN was unable to verify that Francis used the “terrorism” remarks.

The Vatican said in a statement to the Washington Post about the call, “The phone call, like other phone calls on the same days, takes place in the context of the Holy Father’s efforts to contain the seriousness and scope of the conflict in the Middle East.” The holy land.”

A few days after his phone call with Herzog, the Pope spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on November 2. On October 22, Francis called US President Joe Biden about the war.

Some background: The Pope has publicly described the war between Israel and Hamas as terrorism.

On November 22, during a public meeting in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said: “This morning, I received two delegations, one of Israelis who have relatives hostage in Gaza and the other of Palestinians who have relatives suffering in Gaza. They are suffering a lot, and I heard how “They both suffer: Wars do this, but here we are beyond war. This is not war. This is terrorism.”

The Pope has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas and is in regular contact with the Catholic community in Gaza.

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