Palestinian Authority to open embassy at Vatican

The Palestinian Authority will open its embassy at the Vatican approximately a year and a half after the Holy See recognized the entity as a state. 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will celebrate the opening of an embassy at the Vatican on Friday, according to the Palestinian news outlet Wafa.

“This is a big achievement for the Palestinian people, considering the pope and the Apostolic Nuncio have adopted the moral legal and political position to recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders,” said the PA’s ambassador to the Vatican, Issa Kassissieh.

“This is due to the long journey of sacrifices for our people, which led to the overall agreement signed between the state of Palestine and the Vatican,” he added.

In the agreement referenced by Kassissieh, signed in June 2015, the Vatican recognized the PA as the “state of Palestine.” Israel had criticized the unilateral move on the part of the Palestinians.

“Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated at the time.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely had made similar remarks. “The Palestinians continue to act unilaterally, which distances us from any chance of holding direct dialogue,” she said. “I regret that the Vatican decided to participate in a step that blatantly ignores the history of the Jewish people in Israel and Jerusalem.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News