Haaretz said on Tuesday that the Vatican has rejected requests by Israeli diplomats to see the text of an agreement signed between the Holy See and the State of Palestine two weeks ago. The Israeli newspaper quoted a senior official as saying that diplomats have attempted to review the text on four separate occasions, but the Vatican declined to give details about the content of the agreement.
The Vatican signed the first accord with Palestine on 26 June, two years after officially recognising it as a state in February, 2013. The treaty covers the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine.
“The Israeli ministry of foreign affairs expresses its regret regarding the Vatican decision to officially recognize the Palestinian Authority as a state,” said spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. “This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement.”
Israel also regrets the “one-sided” texts in the agreement “which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in Israel,” he added. “Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.”
According to Haaretz, the ministry is concerned that the treaty between the Vatican and the Palestinians contradicted a similar treaty that already exists between the Vatican and Israel.