Palestinians are mourning the death of a priest who used his diplomatic cover to harm the State of Israel.
The Palestinian leadership and the various Palestinian terror groups are mourning the death of Syrian Catholic Bishop Hilarion Capucci, who died in Rome on Sunday at the age of 94.
Capucci was a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and assisted in supporting their acts of terrorism against Israel.
The bishop was arrested by Israel in 1974 after being caught trying to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorists. At the time, he served as the Greek Melkite Catholic archbishop in Jerusalem and used his diplomatic status as cover.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but in an Israeli goodwill gesture to the Vatican, he was released after just three years and deported to Rome.
In 2010, Capucci was a passenger on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship bound for the Gaza Strip, allegedly carrying aid, in an attempt to violate the Israeli blockade. The only “humanitarian aid” found on board after the IDF intercepted were boxes of expired medications. Passengers on board ambushed the IDF soldiers with knives and metal rods.
In a statement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said that “Archbishop Capucci dedicated his religious position to the struggle against the (Israeli) occupation.”
The PFLP highlighted the fact that even after being imprisoned in Israel, Capucci never yielded to Israeli stipulations, but rather “continued his struggle as he traveled around the world defending the Palestinian people, recruiting support for their cause, and exposing the Zionist entity’s racist and fascist policies against them.”
The PFLP called Capucci’s death a huge loss for the Palestinian people and the Arab world.
In a statement on Wafa news agency, Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas mourned Capucci, describing him as a “martyr for Jerusalem and a brave fighter.”
Meanwhile, the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement, saying Capucci “left behind a rich legacy of courage, struggle and sacrifice for the sake of freedom of the homeland and of human beings. He was an example of deep Muslim-Christian brotherhood and national unity.”
The statement added that during Capucci’s imprisonment, the bishop was “a minaret for sacrifice, selflessness, redemption and determination to support our people’s righteous cause.”
His death was also mourned by Hamas, the terror organization that rules Gaza, which praised him for a life devoted to “defending the Palestinian people and their just cause.”