Pope Francis expressed his “deep sorrow” on Wednesday for the deaths of seven charity workers killed by an Israeli strike while they were delivering aid in Gaza.

“I express my deep sorrow for the volunteers killed while they were distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza,” the 87-year-old pontiff said during his weekly audience at the Vatican.

“I pray for them and their families.”

He renewed his appeal for access to humanitarian aid for the “exhausted and suffering civilian population” of Gaza, and for the hostages taken by Hamas to be released.

Israel’s defense chief described on Wednesday the strike on staff from World Central Kitchen as a “grave mistake,” after the deaths prompted a chorus of international outrage.

With AFP