Photo Credit: Estonian Foreign Ministry via Flickr
Cardinal Pietro Parolin

The Vatican’s top diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on Wednesday summoned Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See Oren David and American Ambassador Callista Gingrich, wife of you know who, to express concern over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jewish settlements in the liberated territories of Judea and Samaria, Reuters reported.

The Netanyahu plan has yet to be presented in a complete and fully comprehensible form, but it is believed that the areas he intends to bring under Israeli law in the near future comprise between 10% and 15% of the entire “West Bank,” and less than 50% of Area C, where, according to the Oslo Agreement, Israel enjoys full control.

Advertisement



Nevertheless, Parolin voiced “the concern of the Holy See regarding possible unilateral actions that may further jeopardize the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the delicate situation in the Middle East.”

“Israel and the State of Palestine have the right to exist and to live in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” Parolin added.

The dire need for Israeli sovereignty has nothing to do with the two-state solution, but with the safety of an estimated 3,000 Jewish homes which are once again in jeopardy after the High Court of Justice killed the 2017 Regulations Act. The result is that Jewish-owned property whose boundaries were reversed by the Israeli government, declaring the purchase of all or parts of it illegal – after the government itself in many cases arranged those purchases. Without the protection of the Regulations Act, anti-Israeli NGO can once again herd Arab claimants who will tell the High Court that Jewish properties belong to them.

But under Israeli law, should a claim be made against these properties, the claimants would have to prove their claims in a civil court, where the evidentiary requirements are real – unlike the situation at the High Court, which does not verify evidence. Also, even if a claim is recognized by a civil court, the remedy would not be demolition of the Jewish home but instead fair market value.

Advertisement