ArmInfo. Russia is concerned over the reports on provocations against the Armenian community in Jerusalem, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing.
In particular, according to her, Moscow drew attention to the conflict situation that has developed around the so-called "Armenian gardens" located in the Old City (Cows' Garden - ed.). The diplomat recalled that they became the object of a lawsuit between the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and one of the pro- settlement Israeli organizations.
"Without waiting for the results of the litigation, its representatives began preparations for the construction of a hotel complex on the disputed site, which led to clashes between local Armenians and Jewish radicals," the diplomat recalled.
Further, Zakharova called on the Israeli authorities to resolve this issue within the framework of the law. "We call on the Israeli authorities to take measures to fairly resolve this sensitive issue, within the framework of the law. We believe that the rights of all religious communities in the country should be protected equally. We oppose any illegal actions aimed at changing the historical ethno-confessional balance in the Old City Jerusalem, including attacks on Christians living there from time immemorial, their shrines and property," emphasized the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Armenian Patriarchate leased part of the Armenian quarter of the old city of Jerusalem to an Israeli company for 99 years. The Armenian community of Jerusalem opposed this deal, organizing several protests.
On November 1 of this year, the head of the office of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Father Agan Gogchian, announced that the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem sent a letter to Xana Gardens Ltd, informing them that it was terminating the contract dated July 8, 2021 regarding the Cow Garden estate in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.
After this, company representatives began to incite the settlers against representatives of the Armenian community and try to seize the territory of the gardens by force. The head of the office of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Agan Gogchyan, stated that the Patriarchate is under the greatest existential threat in its 16-century history, and the existential-territorial threat extends to all Christian communities in Jerusalem. In this regard, he called on all Christian communities in Jerusalem to support the Armenian Patriarchate in these unprecedented times, as this is another obvious step threatening the presence of Christians in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
The Cows' Garden is located on the historic Mount Zion, in the southwest corner of Jerusalem's Armenian Quarter. Back in November 2021, the Supreme Spiritual Council under the Mother See of Etchmiadzin discussed the issue of leasing the Cow Garden estate of the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate and called for the cancellation of this decision.