Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, the former Melkite Catholic patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem, has died at the age of 94.
A native of Syria, Archbishop Capucci was arrested by Israeli police
in 1974 and eventually smuggling arms to Palestinian militants on the
He was sentenced to a 12-year prison term, but released after
four years but expelled from Israel.
Archbishop Capucci resigned from his episcopal duties in 1974, at the
age of only 51. He continued to play an active role in public affairs,
He was a mediator in negotiations for the release of US
hostages in Iran in 1980, and was an outspoken critic of US intervention
In 2009 he was a passenger on a ship that sought to break the
Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Syrian prelate was living in Rome at the time of his death.