Pope Francis to Call for Sovereign, Independent Palestinian State
Posted on May 24, 2014
By Juan Cole
This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is signaling that Pope Francis in his visit to Bethlehem on Sunday will strongly support the right of Palestinians to a sovereign state.
Implicitly, Pope Francis will condemn the Apartheid system of military rule used by Israel in the West Bank, though he likely won’t use the word.
Cardinal Parolin said that the Vatican recognizes Israelis’ rights to live in security inside recognized borders and added that it also recognizes “the Palestinian people’s right to have a homeland, sovereign and independent, the right to move around freely, the right to live in dignity…”
Square, Site wide
Meanwhile Issa Kassissiyeh, the Palestine envoy to the Vatican, explains that President Mahmoud Abbas when he meets with Francis at Bethlehem on Sunday will express Palestinians’ anxieties about Israeli actions in Jerusalem that harm Christian Palestinians there, as well as about the conditions for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Pope Francis will have lunch with ordinary Palestinians suffering from these practices, Kassissiyeh said.
He will also meet with the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem and visit the Mosque of Omar.
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