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Photo: Ron Peled
Vatican also wants Jerusalem?
Vatican envoy: Israel, Palestinians cannot be trusted to safeguard holy sites
Israel cannot be trusted? The Vatican's legal advisor in Israel, David Jaeger, harshly criticized Israel’s policy regarding safeguarding Christian holy sites.

 

Speaking during an international conference at a Haifa University conference Tuesday, Jaeger said Jerusalem is an important city the fate of which should not be left in the hands of Israel and the Palestinians.

 

Any solution to the status of Jerusalem needs the approval of the international community, said Jaeger, adding that the Palestinian Authority has also failed in keeping with international conventions on preserving holy sites. 

 

Jaeger said there is a contradiction between agreements signed between Israel and the Vatican on preserving Christian Holy sites and Israeli laws dating from the British mandate in Palestine.

 

The Israeli government took away the courts' authority to deal with issues related to lands and funds belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, causing legal disputes that have been dragging in courts for years, the Vatican envoy said.

 

The conference is a unique opportunity to hold academic discussions of issues pertaining to Jerusalem and holy sites, bring together intellectuals
and experts from Israel, the territories and the international community.

 

Dr. Yitzhak Reiter, one of the event's organizers, said: “Our aim is to hold a discussion on the burning issue of Jerusalem – at a time of relative calm – in an attempt to try finding solutions acceptable to all sides. We should remember that the breakthrough that led to the Oslo Accord started with a similar discourse between Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals under international sponsorship."

 

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