JERUSALEM, Israel – A group of Armenian bishops, priests, deacons, and citizens were violently attacked by over 30 armed assailants in the Old City of Jerusalem. The attackers, some wearing ski masks and carrying lethal weapons, launched a coordinated physical assault, leaving several individuals seriously injured. According to the Armenian Patriarchate, the attackers used pepper spray and other chemicals, specifically targeting seminary students, who had to be taken to the hospital. The Police confirmed receiving the letter from the Patriarchate and stated that arrests were made on both sides, but no official charges have been filed yet.
The Patriarchate claims that the attack was in response to the filing of a lawsuit in the District Court of Jerusalem over a land deal known as the Cows’ Garden Land Deal. This deal, involving the lease of a fourth of the Armenian Quarter to Australian Jewish developer Danny Rothman and his Christian Arab partner, sparked protests and pressure on the Patriarchate to cancel the deal. The developers allegedly started tearing down buildings and preparing for construction after the Patriarchate sent a letter intending to withdraw from the contract, leading to the violent attack on Thursday.
Amidst the chaos, the patriarchate called on Israeli representatives to intervene and stop these violent actions. The report revealed that the developers have declined to speak to the media and did not confirm any connection between the brawl and the developers. The Patriarchate is now fighting for its existence, as the letter concludes, against these impure provocateurs.
In summary, the violent attack on Armenian clergymen and citizens in Jerusalem has sparked outrage and calls for intervention from Israeli authorities. The underlying land deal dispute seems to be at the center of the conflict, as tensions continue to escalate in the Armenian Quarter. The Patriarchate’s call for an investigation underscores the urgent need to address the security and well-being of the Armenian community in Jerusalem.