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Israeli settler group's attempts to seize Jerusalem Christian properties must stop: EU

Christians walk along Via Dolorosa on quiet Good Friday due to the restrictions on public gatherings amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Jerusalem on April 10, 2020. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Christians walk along Via Dolorosa on quiet Good Friday due to the restrictions on public gatherings amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Jerusalem on April 10, 2020. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday voiced concern over an Israeli group's takeover of Greek Orthodox properties in the occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"Attempts by settlers to take over Christian property in the Old City of Jerusalem must be halted as they jeopardise the heritage and traditions of the Christian community," the representative office of the European Union in Palestinian territories said in a statement.

Earlier, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate against the takeover of Christian properties by settler organisation, Ateret Cohanim.

Such a ruling by the Israeli court poses "a threat to the peaceful co-existence of all three monotheistic religions in Jerusalem, as well as to the established religious equilibrium," the statement added.

The EU called for maintaining the city's "status quo" by preserving and respecting its character.

For over 17 years, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has been opposing Ateret Cohanim's claims of having legally purchased the church's properties in the Jaffa Gate area, including the Imperial Hotel and the Petra Hotel.

Read:  Jerusalem church leaders: Israel threatening Christian presence in the city

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EUInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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