Palestinians rally in opposition to Greek Orthodox patriarch


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Protests like broken out in Bethlehem as Palestinians rallied in opposition to the head of the Greek Orthodox church, who has been accused in Israeli media of selling off large aspects of land to Israelis.

Offended protesters on Saturday threw eggs at the convoy of Patriarch Theophilos III, who used to be visiting the Church of the Nativity for products and services marking the Orthodox Christmas Cve.

Many Orthodox Christians like fun the birth of Jesus Christ on January 7.

The patriarch has been at the centre of public madden after allegations emerged that he used to be pandering to Israeli pursuits by selling off land to hardline Jewish settlers in prime locations in Jerusalem’s Extinct Metropolis.

A grunt calling for the removal of Theophilos III used to be also held in September following the newsletter of reports claiming that he had colluded with a settler organisation.

The settler neighborhood, Ateret Cohanim, has been working for many years to evict Palestinians from their houses and shops within the city, including round crucial holy sites similar to the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The church has denied the allegations.

Learn our in-depth memoir about this misfortune here.

‘Incorrect reports’

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Bethlehem, described Saturday’s scenes as « exceptional » and « dramatic ».

« There were protests sooner than, nonetheless no longer at this level. There were eggs being hurled at the convoy, of us sitting right through streets. It truly underscores how excited of us are about these reports, » he said.

The Orthodox Church is reportedly the second biggest land owner in East Jerusalem, and deal of Palestinians mediate the sales of East Jerusalem land to Israelis will endanger the components forward for East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian grunt.

« Representatives of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate voice that these reports are incorrect, » reported Jamjoom.

« They voice that what has truly been happening is that the Greek Orthodox patriarch has been looking out to renegotiate and commerce deals that were made within the previous that were to the detriment of members of their congregation. »

Sombre temper

Nevertheless, the land sales like led to a broader advertising campaign annoying an cease to the church’s dominance by Greek-born clergy.

Previous protests like known as for Palestinian clerics to determine over the patriarchate.

« Our calls for are certain and simple, » Aghlab Khoury, a member of the Orthodox Central Council, informed Al Jazeera at the Bethlehem grunt.

« We desire the patriarch to resign; we desire reform to the patriarchate; place a prison committee to mediate the misfortune within the patriarchate; and appraise the present property. » 

The protests got here one month after US President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said he would delivery a task to switch the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

That resolution led to large protests within the occupied Palestinian territories and main rallies in strengthen of the Palestinians ultimately of the Muslim world.

A majority of UN member also heavily criticised Trump’s announcement, declaring his Jerusalem switch « null and void ».

Al Jazeera’s Jamjoom said the occasions of the previous month bolstered the sombre temper in Bethlehem and overshadowed the mature Christmas festivities.

« I spoke to a one who has been coming here for many years to like fun, and he said he had by no components considered it this empty, » said Jamjoom.

« Within the previous, Muslims would be out here, Christians would be out here. The courtyard would be chubby of children. Nevertheless up till now, it has been very empty outside of the Church of the Nativity, » he added.

« It’s miles one more factor that highlights the hopelessness that Palestinian Christians are feeling prison now, in a period the build they like to be feeling unruffled, festive and hopeful. »

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