Apostolic Nuncio to Israel
The Apostolic Nuncio to Israel is the holder of a diplomatic position within the Vatican, who acts as nuncio (Ambassador) of the Holy See to the State of Israel. The office's work takes place in the broader backdrop of Holy See–Israel relations that have evolved considerably over the past several decades.
Diplomatic relations were established in 1994 between the Holy See and State of Israel following the signing of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel on 30 December 1993. Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, who had been Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine since 1990, was appointed the first Apostolic Nuncio to Israel. The Nunciature is located in Tel Aviv.
So far, all Nuncios of Israel were also simultaneously appointed Nuncios to Cyprus and Apostolic Delegates to Jerusalem and Palestine (now responsible for the relationship with the local church in the Palestinian territories).
Apostolic Delegates to Jerusalem and Palestine
- Gustavo Testa - 11 February 1948 to 6 March 1953
- Silvio Angelo Pio Oddi - 30 July 1953 to 11 January 1957
- Giuseppe Maria Sensi - 12 January 1957 to 10 May 1962
- Lino Zanini - 1962 to 1966
- Augustin-Joseph Antoine Sépinski, O.F.M. - 2 October 1965 to 5 May 1969
- Pio Laghi - 24 May 1969 to 28 May 1973
- William Aquin Carew - 10 May 1974 to 30 August 1983
- Carlo Curis - 4 February 1984 to 28 March 1990
- Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo - 28 April 1990 to 19 January 1994
- Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo - 19 January 1994 – 7 March 1998
- Pietro Sambi - 6 June 1998 – 17 December 2005. As nuncio to Israel, Sambi criticized the building of the wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories as "a shame to humanity." In 2003, he criticized the anti-Semitism sponsored by some Palestinian authorities. He was instrumental in Italy ceasing to fund anti-Semitic Palestinian schoolbooks.
- Antonio Franco - 21 January 2006 – 18 August 2012
- Giuseppe Lazzarotto - 18 August 2012 – 13 September 2017
- Leopoldo Girelli - 13 September 2017 – present
- Catholic News Agency, 17 December 2005, Pope Benedict appoints top Vatican diplomat as Papal Nuncio to the US
- Jerusalem Post, 21/1/06: Pope names new Vatican envoy to Israel