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Christians in Jerusalem’s Old City ‘under threat’ from [Jewish] settlers

The Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, speaks in front of the closed doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. PHOTO: Amir Cohen/Reuters

Church leaders claim priests are being verbally abused and spat at while property is being vandalised in ancient walled city

By Harriet Sherwood |1 May 2018

THE GUARDIAN — Christians in Jerusalem’s Old City say their presence at the geographical heart of their faith is under threat from intimidation and aggressive property acquisition by hardline Jewish settlers.

According to church leaders, priests are being verbally abused and spat at, and property vandalised.

Tensions have risen this year in the Christian and Armenian quarters of the 1 sq km ancient walled city, which includes the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest place in Christianity where Jesus was believed to be crucified and resurrected. The Old City is also home to places of critical religious importance to Jews and Muslims.

The churches say they are facing onslaught on three fronts: a war of attrition waged by hardline settlers; unprecedented tax demands by Jerusalem city council; and a proposal to allow the expropriation of church land sold to private developers. […]

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