The Palestinian Authority is set to open an embassy in Vatican City, one day before representatives from 70 countries gather in the French capital for a so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace conference at which Israel will not be in attendance. The Paris conference comes amid increasing concern from Palestinians over US President-elect Donald Trump’s unwavering support for Israel.
al-Jazeera(h/t Susan K) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is meeting Pope Francis for the embassy’s inauguration on Saturday, before heading to Rome to meet Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Pope Francis, in 2015, called Mahmoud Abbas “an angel of peace,” days after the Vatican said it was preparing to sign its first accord with Palestine (a state that does not exist now, not has it ever existed)
On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II is shot and wounded at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy by a Turkish Muslim terrorist with Palestinian connections, Mehmet Ali Agca, an escaped fugitive already convicted of a previous murder, fired several shots at the religious leader, two of which also wounded nearby tourists.
Below is the photo of Muslim terrorist as he aimed his gun just before shooting Pope John Paul 2nd.
Issa Kassissieh, Palestine’s ambassador to the Holy See, called the move a “a significant achievement for the Palestinian people,” and said the Pope had taken “a moral, legal and political stand through recognising the state of Palestine along the pre-1967 borders”.
The Vatican, which enjoys close relations with Israel, has steadily supported the creation of a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian Authority wants an independent state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza – areas Israel occupied in violation of international law in a 1967 war.
Abbas has said Sunday’s Paris conference “may be the last chance for implementing” the two-state solution.
Israel, which regards the United States as the chief broker in the Middle East, has failed to comment on whether it will attend the meeting, arguing that only direct negotiations with the Palestinians can lead to peace.