The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem released a statement on Wednesday, saying the Israeli court’s decisions allowing seizure of church property, by Israeli settler groups, are unfair.
The property is located in the Jaffa Gate area of the Old City of Jerusalem, in the Southern West Bank. The Israeli Supreme Court, on June 10, rejected the petition to stop the sale of the church property to Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing settler organization.
The Patriarchate declared that the court’s decision will be further challenged, stating: “Our legal teams, in cooperation with experts in international law, are studying all the possibilities available to annul the deal to seize the properties at Jaffa Gate.”
The statement continued, asserting that the Patriarchate will continue to meet with international heads of state and religious leaders, to stress that the seizure “will have negative effects on the Christian presence in the Holy City.”
The statement concluded: “The existence of a vibrant Christian community in Jerusalem is essential to maintaining a historically diverse society and to achieve peace in this city,” and that it will continue to support the current tenants, who are considered as protected by law, to serve as a safeguarding from a takeover by illegal Israeli settlers. – IMEMC