The Holy Land representative for Pope Francis stated that he would be open to exchanging himself for Israeli children being held as hostages in Gaza by Hamas.
During a video conference with Italian journalists, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, responded to a question with a statement.
“I am ready for an exchange, anything if this can lead to freedom, to bring the children home. No problem. There is total willingness on my part,” he said.
“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.
About 200 people were taken hostage and about a dozen of them are believed to be children.
United States President Joe Biden in an interview aired Sunday had told 60 Minutes that it would be a “big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza but said that the country had to respond to the Hamas attack last weekend.
When asked if it was “time for a ceasefire” considering the casualties, CBS News reports that Biden responded, “Look, there’s a fundamental difference. Israel is pursuing a group of individuals who have committed acts of cruelty that are comparable to the Holocaust in importance. And I believe Israel needs to react. They must pursue Hamas. A group of cowards make up Hamas. They are concealed behind the bystanders. They placed their headquarters near residences, structures, and other similar areas. But to the extent that they can separate, the Israelis will take every precaution to prevent the deaths of innocent civilians.