Vatican Agrees With Israel on Need to End Palestinian Violence
The Vatican expressed understanding on Friday for Israel's position that it is essential to immediately end the violence in the disputed territories and acts of Palestinian terrorism, according to Ovadia Sofer, Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon's emissary.
Sofer, a former ambassador to the US, spoke with ISRAEL RADIO after meeting with the Vatican's deputy foreign minister and the pope's adviser on the Middle East. He added that the Vatican representatives expressed concern for the freedom of religion and free access to holy sites if these come under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Sofer also reported that the Italian government has expressed a desire to form ongoing contacts with the Sharon government once it is formed, in order to help restore calm to the region and aid in the resumption of the peace process.
After consulting with Israeli and Palestinian officials recently, the Vatican also announced to its followers that pilgrimage to the Holy Land could resume, since the current hostilities are not aimed at the biblical sites.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.