|Israel||CATHOLIC LEADER CALLS FOR ARAB CONTROL OF EAST JERUSALEM|
Talks leading to Israel's withdrawal from east Jerusalem are the only hope for peace there, according to the Church's highest official in Jersusalem.|
Patriarch Michel Sabbah, a Palestinian, said: "The only way to return to a time of peace is to return to peace talks, and to see how to restore the situation that prevailed prior to 1967," Sabbah wrote.
Arabs held east Jerusalem until the 1967 Mideast war, when Israel won control and subsequently annexed it.
Sabbah's statement was in accord with Vatican policy, although the timing was significant. Pope John Paul II has limited his remarks since fierce street battles broke out between Israelis and Palestinians last week to urging combatants to stop fighting, avoid provocations and resume dialogue.
On Saturday, Sabbah and the heads of other Christian denominations in Jerusalem renewed calls for freedom of movement, access, religion and prayer in the city. They urged "an end to violations against all the holy places of Jerusalem."
The Holy Father has repeatedly has urged international oversight of Jerusalem's holy sites.
|6 Oct 00|