Members of a Jewish settler organization on Sunday moved into the Petra Hotel, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem consider the hotel “a strategic building that could affect the character of the Old City’s entire Christian Quarter,” according to the Israeli paper.
TODAY: Israeli settlers, supported by US charity funded settler organization Ateret Cohanim, stormed the famous Petra Hotel in the Bab al Khalil/Jaffa Gate area of Jerusalem’s Old City. They have been supported by Israeli forces and the court. #DefundRacism pic.twitter.com/txyjxVGwiX
— Good Shepherd Collective (@Shepherds4Good) March 27, 2022
The building has been the subject of an 18-years-long battle between the settler organization Ateret Cohanim and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch. The Jewish settler group claims, according to Haaretz, that the building was “bought from the previous Greek Orthodox patriarch, Irenaios, in a controversial deal”.
Current patriarch Theophilos III tried to repudiate the deal, with no success, as the agreement was ratified by the Israeli Jerusalem District Court and later by the Supreme Court.
Statement of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate concerning the settler takeover of part of the Petra Hotel, strategically located at Jerusalem Old City Jaffa Gate. pic.twitter.com/40X45i0JbF
— Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) March 27, 2022
On Sunday, Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, seized Petra’s first floor. Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians and prevented the Qirresh family, the hotel’s tenants, from entering the building, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
(The Palestine Chronicle)