By Vatican News
In a joint communiqué released by the Custody of the Holy Land, religious leaders express concern about a recent ruling by the District Court of Jerusalem. The ruling rejected the evidence presented by the Greek Orthodox Church that would have proved the Ateret Cohanim, a Jewish nationalist association, purchased its property, near the Jaffa gate, through non-transparent and fraudulent transactions.
"The case of the Jaffa Gate threatens the Status Quo," write the thirteen patriarchs and heads of the Churches of Jerusalem, who support the Greek Orthodox Church in its appeal for justice and do not see a simple controversy over property, but "the commitment of radical groups to take control of properties near the Jaffa Gate as a systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City, obstruct the way for Christian pilgrims and weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem.”
"This case," reads the declaration, "is not only about the Greek Orthodox Church and its properties. It would also damage the peaceful coexistence between the communities for which Jerusalem is known".