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Palestinian Christians Attack Greek Orthodox Patriarch To Protest Land Deals

Palestinian confidence army pull divided demonstrators from a procession of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, during a criticism opposite his revisit to a Church of a Nativity in a West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday.

Majdi Mohammed/AP


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Majdi Mohammed/AP

Palestinian confidence army pull divided demonstrators from a procession of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, during a criticism opposite his revisit to a Church of a Nativity in a West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday.

Majdi Mohammed/AP

Palestinian Christians pounded a procession of a Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem during a revisit to Israeli-occupied West Bank on Saturday to criticism a church’s argumentative skill sales to Jewish and Israeli buyers.

The Greek Orthodox Church claims it is a second-largest landowner in Israel, though in new years, a sale of primary genuine estate has influenced debate among both Israelis and Palestinians. The church says it owns scarcely 30 percent of Jerusalem’s Old City and a vast apportionment of a Church of a Holy Sepulcher, that binds a normal tomb of Jesus.

Hundreds of demonstrators blocked Patriarch Theophilos III’s convoy, throwing stones and eggs, and cheering “traitor, traitor,” as he gathering to a church in Bethlehem to symbol a Orthodox Christmas Eve, NPR’s Daniel Estrin reports for a Newscast unit. Most of a Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7.

Greek Orthodox Church Sells Land In Israel, Worrying Both Israelis And Palestinians

“What happened currently is a summary to a Palestinian Authority and to Jordan that we will not concede this hypocrite to stay in a Church,” one protester, Elyeef Sayegh, told Reuters.

The mayor of Bethlehem boycotted a attainment rite and an central says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not attend a church leader’s normal Christmas dinner.

The genuine estate deals were usually recently done open after it was suggested that church leaders, who are mostly Greek nationals, sensitively sole properties in a Holy Land to puzzling Jewish buyers fronted by companies overseas. Many members of a church’s mostly Palestinian following contend offered skill to Israelis amounts to treason.

As Daniel formerly reported, “the doubt of landownership strikes during a core of a Israeli-Palestinian yank of fight over Jerusalem. Israel prisoner East Jerusalem, whose holy sites embody a Church of a Holy Sepulcher, Al-Aqsa Mosque and Western Wall, in 1967. But a Palestinians direct that partial of a city as a collateral of a destiny eccentric state.”

Church officials explain they need to sell a land in sequence to connect debt, according to Reuters, and they also contend a increase are being invested in a internal Palestinian community. Reuters reports that some Israeli lawmakers are operative to retard a sales amid concerns they could means genuine estate prices to spike.

“None of these deals are endangering a destiny dream of a Palestinian people. None are siphoning off endowments,” pronounced a Greek Orthodox Patriarchate central who spoke to NPR in Dec on a condition of anonymity.

The land-ownership debate began over a decade ago with a sale of dual hotels nearby a opening to a Old City. Then-Greek Orthodox Patriarch Irenaios was forced out and transposed by Theophilos who is fighting in Israeli justice to cancel a sales. But Theophilos faced recoil this summer after reports he privately authorized other skill sales.