During his trip to Israel this week, President Martinelli said that Panama will always stand with Israel, in appreciation of “its guardianship of the capital of the world – Jerusalem.”
Both Martinelli’s comments and Panama’s recent U.N. resolution record in support of Israel, have received praise from the Jewish State. Palestinian groups, on the other hand, did not receive Martinelli’s announcement well.
“Martinelli’s declarations are not only an offense to the Palestinian people, the Arab world and all of the Christian and Islamic world, but also an offense to international law,” declared Nabil Shaath, head of the Palestinian National Authority.
Shaath added that he thought it would be important if Martinelli could explain the meaning of his words to the Palestinian families that, each week, lose their houses and residential permits in Jerusalem, or to the millions of Christians and Muslims who are not permitted access to the holy city.
About 8,000 Panamanian citizens are Jews, and three of the ministers in Martinelli’s cabinet are Jewish, as are many senior government officials.
“We came a great distance, but we are very close because of the Jewish heart of Panama,” Martinelli is also quoted as saying in The Jerusalem Post.