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Top Vatican, Iran diplomats discuss situation in Gaza

October 30, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, speaks during the 10th Emergency Special Session (resumed) 39th plenary meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations, in New York, October 26, 2023. [TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images]

The Vatican’s top diplomat discussed the latest situation in Gaza with his Iranian counterpart, the Vatican Press Office announced on Monday, Anadolu Agency reports.

During the phone call with Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, which was requested by the Iranian side, Vatican Foreign Affairs Secretary, Paul Richard Gallagher, expressed the Vatican’s “serious concern about what is happening in Israel and Palestine and reiterated the absolute necessity to avoid escalating the conflict,” the office said.

In addition, Gallagher reaffirmed the Vatican’s commitment to achieve a two-state solution for a stable and lasting peace in the Mideast.

The number of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since 7 October has risen to 8,306, the Health Ministry in the besieged Palestinian enclave said on Monday, including 3,457 children and 2,136 women.

Israel has heavily bombarded Gaza since 7 October, when Hamas carried out a surprise cross-border attack.

At least 1,538 Israelis have been killed since the outbreak of the Gaza war, public broadcaster KAN said on Monday.

Israeli army spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, on Saturday announced the Israeli army is “expanding its operations,” moving to the “next phase of our war against Hamas”.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are also grappling with shortages of food, water, fuel and medicine due to Israel’s blockade of the enclave. Only a handful of aid trucks have crossed into Gaza since the opening of the Rafah crossing point on 21 October.

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