Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis pleads for an end to the Hamas-Israeli conflict amid fears it could widen. “War is always a defeat, it is a destruction of human fraternity. Brothers, stop! Stop!” Francis says after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square. Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people. Israel’s retaliatory bombing campaign has killed more than 4,650 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, and reduced swathes of densely populated Gaza to smouldering ruins.