Wed Nov 22 2017, 1:43:46 +03

Vatican recognized Palestinian State, Israel frantically expressed regret

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(Vatican-AlummahWorld, Ramadan 10, 1436, June 27, 2015) The Vatican, Catholic Christians Church officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized between Palestinian State and the Vatican. Israel as expected, expressed bitterness and regret Vatican decision to recognize Palestinian State.

The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine. A move many sees as Catholics desire to secure better access and freedom for followers and their activities in Holy Land where number of ancient site are historic for Vatican.

Earlier, the Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes official diplomatic recognition.
Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi firmly stated that "Yes, it's a recognition that the state exists,". On the other hand, the Israeli foreign ministry said it was "disappointed" by the development.

"This move does not promote the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations," the ministry said in a text message. "Israel will study the agreement and will consider its steps accordingly."
The treaty was finalized days before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits Pope Francis at the Vatican. Abbas is heading to Rome to attend Francis' canonization Sunday of two new saints from the Holy Land.

Israeli relations with Vatican are at odds on various issues while the Catholic Church was recognizing Palestinian State since a year ago.

During Pope Francis' 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican's official program referred to Abbas as the president of the "state of Palestine." In the Vatican's latest yearbook, the Palestinian ambassador to the Holy See is listed as representing "Palestine (state of)."

The Vatican's foreign minister, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, acknowledged the change in status, given that the treaty was initially inked with the PLO and is now being finalized with the "state of Palestine." But he said the shift was simply in line with the Holy See's position.

Israel frantically expressed “regret” at the Vatican's decision to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a state and the signing of the accord, hinting it could have implications for future cooperation between Israel and the Vatican.
“It is unfortunate that the Vatican decide to give a hand to this time of action and to blatantly ignore the history of the Jewish people in Israel and Jerusalem,” Israel`s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely said. “All attempts by the Palestinians and other factors to undermine our historic rights to Jerusalem and Israel will be met with fierce opposition from us.” she warned.

But she did not underlined such "fierce opposition" or actions Israel may take to block Vatican moves of recognition and cooperation with Palestinians.

Israel`s isolation is growing as official recognition to endorse Palestinian State by Vatican may lead to a wider recognition from more countries. Israel and Vatican failed to reached any conclusion about Holy sites in Jerusalem during last sixteen years. Frustration among Catholics increased due to Israeli assertive approach which caused no outcome in bilateral negotiations.