A world-renowned Israeli conductor and pianist who has championed Palestinian rights has been granted honorary Palestinian citizenship.
Daniel Barenboim says he hopes his acceptance of a Palestinian passport will help promote Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. The 65-year-old announced his new status after holding a concert Saturday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Barenboim says he believes Israelis and Palestinians are inextricably linked.
Barenboim is a regular performer in the Palestinian territories and co-founded an orchestra that brings together young Israeli and Arab musicians to advance the cause of peace.
The Argentine-born musician has stirred controversy in Israel for strongly criticizing Israel's occupation of Palestinian areas. Barenboim also has angered many Israelis by performing the works of Richard Wagner - the anti-Semitic 19th century German composer whose works were popular with Adolf Hitler and other Nazis.
A Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti says Barenboim's passport was approved by the former Hamas-led Palestinian unity government. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the unity government after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June.