Archbishop calls for ‘urgent’ action to save Christian properties from Jewish settlers – Middle East Monitor

The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem called for urgent and unified action to quash suspicious deals through which significant church-owned property in occupied Jerusalem was apparently sold to illegal settler associations. Bishop Atallah Hanna insisted that this is a political issue and not a legal one.

In a public statement, the Patriarch explained that the Orthodox properties that the illegal Jewish settlers stole from their owners are an integral part of the Christian quarter and the Orthodox patriarchy. It was a reference to the Imperial and Petra hotels and other Palestinian-owned properties in the Jaffa Gate area.

“We do not believe that the recent decision of an Israeli court is the end of the road. The question of these real estates is not a legal question, but rather a political question and a question directly linked to the ancient Christian presence and genuine in this sacred place in the world,” Father Hanna said. “Anyone who leaked this real estate is not authorized to do so and has no such powers.

Christian endowments in Palestine are not a commodity offered in a public auction, he added, but are part of the history and heritage of the holy city and every corner and every inch of the city of Jerusalem. means “history, heritage and authenticity” for Palestinians. .

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The archbishop said there was a need for political pressure, as well as the movement of international churches. The Orthodox Church, he pointed out, also relies on King Abdullah II of Jordan, whose kingdom is the official custodian of holy sites and Islamic and Christian endowments in Jerusalem, in addition to the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. “There is a need for pressure from multiple parties to undo these sinister and illegal agreements.”

Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to overturn the seizure of three properties by the settler organization Ateret Cohanim in the Jaffa Gate area of ​​occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. All Israeli settlers and the settlements in which they live are illegal under international law.

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