The Latin Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem has offered to be exchanged for the children being held hostage in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
Speaking to journalists via video conference on Oct.16, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa was asked if he would be willing to offer himself in exchange to free the children hostages who were taken in Hamas’ attack on Israel last week. The cardinal responded that he is willing to do anything to “bring those children home.”
“Am I ready for an exchange? Anything, if that can lead to freedom and bring those children home, no problem. There is an absolute availability on my part,” the cardinal said.
Israel Defense Forces announced Monday that 199 Israeli hostages, including children, are being held by Hamas and that the military is trying to understand where they are being held in Gaza. Hamas terrorists had threatened last week to kill one hostage every time that Israel’s military bombs civilian targets in Gaza.
The cardinal underlined that it is necessary “to find a way to get the hostages back.”
“We are willing to help, even me personally,” he added.
Cardinal Pizzaballa, who serves as the head of Latin Catholics living in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Cyprus, noted that he had not had any direct communication with Hamas since the surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.