Church leaders urge Israel to halt Jerusalem land confiscation

Middle East Monitor  /  February 21, 2022

Leaders of Jerusalem churches, on Monday, warned of an Israeli plan to confiscate church-owned lands in the occupied city, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a letter directed to Israeli Environmental Protection Minister, Tamar Zandberg, dated 18 February, the church leaders said there is a plan to expand an Israeli park onto the Olive Mount in East Jerusalem and called for halting it.

The letter was signed by Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theopolis III, the Catholic Church Customs of the Holy Land, Francesco Patton, and Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nourhan Manougian.

The church leaders said the Olive Mount is one of the sacred places in Christianity, which hosts Christian holy sites visited by millions of Christians worldwide.

Copies of the letter were also sent to the Consuls-General of Turkiye, France, Italy, Greece, Spain and Sweden in Jerusalem.

Last year, the heads of churches protested attempts by Israeli settler groups to seize control of church properties in occupied East Jerusalem.