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The Jailed Bishop

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original artworksee 1970's section

The Jailed Bishop

Hilarion Capucci on the fron cover of Al-Ghad literary magazine

Hilarion Capucci (2 March 1922 – 1 January 2017) was a Syrian Catholic bishop who served as the titular archbishop of Caesarea in the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

On 18 August 1974 he was arrested by security forces of Israel for smuggling weapons into the West Bank in a Mercedes sedan.[3] He was subsequently convicted by Israeli Martial court of using his diplomatic status to smuggle arms to the Palestine Liberation Army and sentenced to 12 years in prison.[4][5]

Maximos V, the patriarch of the Melkite Church, was a vocal critic of Capucci’s imprisonment. He was quoted as saying, “Is this Bishop reprehensible if he thought it was his duty to bear arms? If we go back in history we find other bishops who smuggled weapons, gave their lives and committed other illegal actions to save Jews from Nazi occupation. I do not see why a man who is ready to save Arabs should be condemned.” Maximos also asserted that Israel had entered East Jerusalem illegally and against United Nations resolutions.[6]

Capucci was among the prisoners whose release was demanded by Palestinian hijackers of the Kfar Yuval hostage crisis in 1975,[7] and of German and Palestinian hijackers of Air France Flight 139 (the Entebbe hostage crisis), in 1976.[8]

He was released two years later, in 1978, due to intervention by the Vatican, after having served four years of the 12-years sentence.[3]

source: Wikipedia