Published: 2017-11-15 11:49
Last Updated: 2017-11-15 12:07
The Arab Central Orthodox Council in Palestine and Jordan issued an official statement on Tuesday condemning the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate’s justifications about selling church-owned lands in Jerusalem to Israel.
The council held a meeting attended by the Council’s President, the President of the Orthodox Educational Society, Presidents of national Orthodox institutions and members of the council in Jordan.
They discussed the latest serious developments by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, including deals to sell church-owned lands in Jerusalem to Israeli developers.
“Such deals will help Israel in Judaising the Palestinian lands in Jerusalem, to displace Christian Arabs from their lands and execute Israel plans to evacuate all eastern Christians (Orthodox) and steal their history,” the council said.
“We are following all distortive attempts by the Patriarch which affects Arab Orthodox Committee in Palestine, considering Israel are applying their racist policies against Orthodox Arabs who are calling for reforms and justice to save holy sites in Jerusalem,” the statement said.
“The Arab Central Orthodox Council called on all believers in Jordan, Palestine and all Orthodox Institutions, as well as all Palestinians, to stand by the council’s side in Jordan and Palestine to save the historic rights for sacred Arab Orthodox holy sites.”
They called the Jordanian Parliament and the Palestinian Legislative Council members to form a joint committee to examine the facts, and to search in the case already submitted in Israeli courts to released a detailed report about the public opinion, in order to save the truth and stop the disinformation campaigns.
Hundreds of Palestinians are protesting in Eastern Jerusalem to express national anger over the patriarch’s deals with Israel and calling for his resignation.
In early August, an Israeli court ruled over the selling of two strategically located hotels near Jaffa Gate in the Old City, and a large building in the Muslim Quarter to the Israeli Jewish settler group, Ateret Cohanim, which aims to expand the Jewish presence in the occupied city.
The issue of land sales in East Jerusalem is particularly contentious as the city is supposed to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Video: Jerusalem Patriarch condemns Israel Church Lands Bill