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Pope Says Jerusalem Must Remain Holy City

Sun., Dec. 17, 1995

Jerusalem must remain a “holy city” for all faiths with roots in its sacred sites, the Vatican said Saturday in a statement reinforcing its political neutrality.

The declaration by papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro was intended to end speculation the Vatican favors recognizing the city as Israel’s capital. Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Leah Rabin, the widow of slain Israel leader Yitzhak Rabin, raised doubts Thursday about the Vatican’s position.

She quoted Pope John Paul II as telling her that he considered Jerusalem “the capital of Israel and as the capital of three faiths,” Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

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