POPE Francis confirmed in a recent interview he speaks to a priest in Gaza every day and said there is a “lot of suffering”.

The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, spoke to the American broadcaster CBS News where he confirmed he speaks to the priest of the only Catholic church in Gaza every evening at 7pm.

Father Youssef Asaad is the head of the Holy Family Church and is currently sheltering around 600 people, some Catholic and some non-Catholic, who are taking refuge in the compound which is located north of the Gaza City.

According to the American news outlet, Pope Francis said he liked to stay informed with the situation in Palestine and is aware there is currently a lot of suffering going on and that people are facing starvation.

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He said: “Every evening at 7pm I call the parish of Gaza and there are 600 people there. They tell me about what happens there.

“It’s very tough, very tough. The food arrives, people rush to get it, and it is very tough.”

When journalist Norah O'Donnell asked what you say to them when you call every day, the Pope replied simply with, “I listen”.

He then added: “The other day they were happy because they managed to eat some meat.

“The rest of the time they eat flour, things made of flour. Sometimes they go hungry. And they tell me things. And the other people there also speak to me at times.

“There is a lot of suffering.”

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is set to get worse as deliveries of aid and fuel to Palestinians are slow in the wake of Israel’s two-week ground offensive in the southern city of Rafah.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) confirmed earlier in the week that limited distribution of food parcels is ongoing in central Gaza, but the agency’s food parcel supplies are expected to run out within days.

The UN also said that 1.1 million people in the coastal strip face catastrophic levels of hunger and that the area is on the brink of famine.