The patriarchs and heads of the Christian churches in Jerusalem have issued a stern statement, targeting “right-wing radical groups” which they say “endanger the already-fragile reality” in the besieged city.
The statement expressed deep concern over growing Israeli-Palestinian violence, as the two sides clashed in Jerusalem and Israel launched airstrikes into Gaza, responding to rocket attacks.
Christian leaders in Jerusalem said they were “profoundly disheartened and concerned about the recent violent events in East Jerusalem. These concerning developments, whether at the Al-Aqsa Mosque or in Sheikh Jarrah, violate the sanctity of the people of Jerusalem and of Jerusalem as the City of Peace.”
Sheikh Jarrah is a neighborhood in East Jerusalem where dozens of Palestinians are under threat of eviction from Jewish settlers. In a separate statement May 10, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said, “The forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah is also an unacceptable violation of the most fundamental human rights, the right to a home.”
In their statement, Jerusalem’s Christian leaders said: “The special character of Jerusalem, the Holy City, with the existing Status Quo, compels all parties to preserve the already sensitive situation in the Holy City of Jerusalem. The growing tension, backed mainly by right-wing radical groups, endangers the already fragile reality in and around Jerusalem.”
The Status Quo is a 19th-century agreement regulating jurisdiction of and access to key Christian sites in Jerusalem for Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian communities.
The full statement is here.
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