The Jerusalem patriarchs and archbishops 13 different churches sent leaders of Christian denominations worldwide the letter with a call to exert pressure on Israel and to restore the broken status quo in matters of tenure according to The Marker.
The reason for such extraordinary treatment was given a month ago, the decision of the Jerusalem district court, which recognized the legality of the sale of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of several plots of land in Jerusalem three companies, which is a Jewish organization «Ateret Cohanim».
The deal was completed about 10 years ago, but after the change of the Patriarch was challenged by the new leadership of the Church. After lengthy litigation, an Israeli court found the transaction to be legitimate.
Also the anger of the fathers of the Church called the initiative of Knesset member Rachel Azariah («Kulan»), nominated to the Parliament the draft law on seizure of government Church lands on which are located residential buildings (several of the Central neighborhoods of Jerusalem are on land in the 50-ies of the last century, leased from the Church for 99 years).
In a letter to the heads of churches patriarchs and bishops called the court’s decision unfair, and the actions of the Israeli authorities – an obvious and material breach of the status quo.
«We believe these steps systematic attempt to cause damage to Jerusalem and the Holy places, weakening the Christian presence in the city. An active Christian community is an important factor in the social life of Jerusalem. Any threat to the Christian community will only strengthen the formed recently in tension,» the letter reads.
Recall that in recent months became aware of a series of transactions for the sale of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate land in Jerusalem, Caesarea and Jaffa.
In July 2017 was completed the transaction for the sale of rights to land in the «Complex hours» in old Jaffa Bona Trading company registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. The transaction value amounted to 5.2 million shekels over 6 dunums of land near the clock tower in Jaffa. The deal was signed in 2013, but its registration was delayed due to litigation.
Shortly before it became known about the sale of 700 dunums of land between Caesarea and kibbutz Sdot Yam for 3.8 million shekels of the company Senet Ventures, also registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In early July it became known that the Greek Patriarchate was sold to the group of Israeli investors plots with a total area of 50 hectares, located in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Rehavia, Talbia and Niot. These areas since 1951, leased the Jewish national Fund.
In total there are about 200 plots. They located the theatre «Khan», part of the Israel Museum, the Central synagogue, the center of the heritage of Menachem begin and other public buildings.