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 Wednesday, November 29 2023 13:15
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Russia concerned over reports on provocations against the Armenian  community in Jerusalem

Russia concerned over reports on provocations against the Armenian  community in Jerusalem

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.  

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