Saturday, January 2, 2016

First Vatican Accord with Palestine Takes Effect; Pact Lets Palestinians Control Holy Land Church

The Holy See announced today (January 2, 2016) the Vatican's first accord with the Palestinians -- an agreement that Israel has attacked as counterproductive to the Middle East peace process -- has come into force, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

The accord was signed in June, just over two years after the Roman Catholic Church recognized the Palestinian territories as a sovereign state in February 2013.

The accord covers the operation of the Church in areas of the Holy Land under Palestinian control, but its significance has been seen in broader terms as a symbol of growing international backing for a Palestinian state.

Israel attacked today's accord as "premature and counterproductive" to efforts to get the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations with the Jewish state.

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