Maan News Agency
The Israeli Central Court of Jerusalem issued a decision preventing an Israeli settlement company from making use of properties of the Greek Orthodox Church in the old city of Jerusalem.
Spokesperson of the Church father Issa Muslih said Sunday that the team of lawyers “saved the Church property from the settlement company,” who made business deals with the deposed Patriarch Irenios I.
According to father Muslih, Patriarch Irenios had given the Israeli company the right to sell and rent the Church’s properties as well as collect revenue on behalf of the Church. “Patriarch Theophilos III is determined to counter all the suspicious deals made during the Irenios era,” Muslih said, “He [Theophilos III] announced several times that the Greek Orthodox Church was never a real estate agency, and the Patriarchate would use all its power to defend each particle of sand that belongs to the Church.”
Irenios left the Patriarchate more than 50 million shekels in debt, Muslih added, which which Theophilos has managed to pay back.
Muslih described the Sunday decision as a triumph for the Church’s team of lawyers Rami Mughrabi, Samir Zu’bi, and Renato Barak.
The settlement company was represented in court by lawyer Zeev Sharf who defended several other settler cases.
Last week the Greek Orthodox Church announced its success in twarting a recent attempt by Israel’s Jerusalem municipality to confiscate 43 dunums of church property near Beit Safafa village.