Greek Catholic Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, jailed by Israel for 12 years on charges of gun-running for Arab guerrillas, will not appeal against his sentence, his lawyer Aziz Shehadeh has announced.
Mr Shehadeh said that he visited the prelate in his,prison cell in Kfar Yonah, near the coastal town of Watawya, on Friday before Christmas.
"Archbishop Capucci explained to me that he wishes to abide by his principle of not recognising the jurisdiction of Israeli courts, and an appeal of the sentence would signify recognition," he said.
Mr. Shehadeh noted that the prelate, who has refused solid food for the past eight days, appeared to be in good health. Prison Commissioner Arye Nir said that the Archbishop was , under medical supervision and had agreed to take a glass of concentrated food twice a day.
Archbishop Capucci, head of the 4,500-strong GreekCatholic (Melkite) community in the Jerusalem area, was convicted and sentenced on December 9 after a trial lasting nearly two months.
The 52-year-old prelate was convicted on charges of smuggling arms and explosives into Jerusalem from Lebanon.