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PA archbishop of Sebastia accuses Israel of “attempting to uproot the Christians from Palestine”

Headline: “Jerusalem: A conference on the Christian presence and its role in strengthening the Arab identity in the holy city”
     “The participants in a conference that was held yesterday evening [Jan. 5, 2019] at the Jebus Cultural Center in Jerusalem emphasized the importance of the Christian presence and its role in strengthening the Arab presence in Jerusalem…
The speakers at the conference emphasized… that the Christians are not a community or tribe, but rather the salt of the earth, and that they have fulfilled a role in the activity for liberation in the footsteps of fighter [former Greek Catholic] Archbishop [of Jerusalem Hilarion] Capucci (i.e., smuggled weapons to Palestinian terrorists; see note below)… Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna… criticized the discourse of exclusion and accusation of heresy [within Palestinian society], from which the colonialists who want our division are profiting. He noted that this discourse does not represent the Palestinian people and the Arab nation, and that it is a discourse of exclusion that is being sustained by external sources that benefit from it. He said: ‘The amount of Christians in Jesus’ birthplace [Palestine] stands today at 1%. Over a million Christians have emigrated from Iraq, and over half a million Christians from Syria. The occupation is attempting to uproot the Christians from Palestine, and therefore we must act to strengthen the Christian presence in Jesus’ birthplace.’”

Hilarion Capucci – former Greek Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem who exploited his status as a religious leader to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorists. He was arrested in 1974 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was released in 1977 due to the Vatican’s intervention. In October 2013, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas awarded him the Star of Jerusalem Medal. Capucci died on Jan. 1, 2017.