Archbishop Capucci, deported in '70s from Israel, dies

Monsignor Hilarion Capucci, who was an archbishop in Jerusalem when Israel convicted him in 1976 of using his diplomatic status to smuggle arms to Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank, has died. He was 94.

The Vatican on Monday confirmed reports the Capucci had died in Rome, but provided no details, including when.

A native of Aleppo, Syria, the Greek-Melkite priest had a history of activism linked to the Palestinian and other Middle East conflicts.

After he served two years in an Israeli prison for the conviction, he was released due to Vatican intervention and deported.

He was 86 in 2009 when he was aboard an aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip that Israel intercepted.

In 2000, Capucci led an anti-sanctions delegation to Iraq.