Hamas yesterday condemned settlers' seizure of Little Petra Hotel owned by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem as a "new crime".
"Hamas rejects and condemns the Zionist extremist colonial groups' seizure of the Little Petra Hotel owned by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which is located in Omar Ibn Al Khattab Square," a statement said.
"Hamas considers this act a new crime to be added to the series of the Zionist occupation's crimes aiming to Judaise the occupied city of Jerusalem and change its historical characteristics."
This, the statement added, "is a desperate attempt that will not succeed in obliterating the historical Islamic and Christian landmarks of Jerusalem."
It has been a week since Israeli police and settlers took control of part of the historic hotel, the subject of an 18-year-long legal challenge between the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and settler group Ateret Cohanim, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.
The buildings are highly sought after due to their strategic position in both the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City.
Israeli police arrested three Palestinians and prevented the hotel's tenants, Palestinians and lawyers from entering the building, Wafa news agency reported last week.
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