Presentation of the Study “Mapping of Christian Organizations in Palestine: Social and Economic Impact” conducted by Bishop William Shomali, Latin Patriarchate General Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, and Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, President of Dar al-Kalima University
On this day 34 years ago, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat declared from Algiers the independence of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.
The Palestinian Declaration of Independence formally established the State of Palestine, proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988  in Algiers. It had previously been adopted by the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The declaration was written by Palestinian poet  Mahmoud Darwish.
On the occasion of the visit of H.E. Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta, and in the presence of HE Michele Burke Bowe, including other senior members of the Sovereign Order of Malta;
H.E. Ambassador Issa J. Kassissieh received the GRAND CROSS “PRO MERITO MELITENSE” of the Sovereign Order of Malta, in the city of Bethlehem, Palestine, in the chapel hall of the Holy Family Hospital on Thursday 10 November,2022.
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Message from the Ambassador

I was honored by the trust given to me by President Mahmoud Abbas to appoint me as Ambassador to the Holy See. This comes after the passing away of one of our legends in the Palestinian diplomacy, late Shawqi Armalii, who carried this task from another legend, Ambassador Afif Safieh.

Presenting my credentials to his Holiness in December 2013 paved the way for fostering further the bilateral relations bearing in mind that the Holy See upgraded the status of the Palestinian mission to an Embassy: The Embassy of the state of Palestine, in accordance with the U.N. resolution recognizing Palestine as an observer state issued on 29 November 2012.

When talking about the bilateral relations, one cannot overlook the role of the late President Yasser Arafat, whose role was instrumental in fine-tuning them during the time of St. Pope John. This culminated into signing the basic agreement between the two sides in 2000.

The peace pilgrimage and the Ecumenical meeting in Jerusalem followed by the Peace Prayer in the Vatican City in the presence of His Holiness Pope Francis, Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres planted the seed of peace in the Holy Land. With all the difficulties we are facing today, I am confident that this holy seed will bear fruit, where bridges not walls will be built, as justice and peace will prevail in Palestine. This would mean that the Palestinian people would exercise their self-determination and regain their freedom and dignity, living in co-existence with its neighbors.

The role of the embassy will continue to take this mission and to raise the Palestinian voice including working for the consolidation of the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land, which faces many challenges ahead.

As the Holy Bible says: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Luke 6:20-23).