An impressive building complex owned by the Presbyterian Church located in the Palestinian territory was sold and, after several changes of ownership, is preparing to host a community of Jewish settlers. This was reported by official sources of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, deploring the serious implications this will have on the life of the local Christian community.
"It is an incident that does not help peace", says to Agenzia Fides Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The site, which is located near the Palestinian refugee camp of Aroub, on the road linking Bethlehem to Hebron, was bought three years ago by the activist Aryeh King, as reported in recent days by the local press. Renovation began two months ago. The structure includes eight buildings spread in an area of almost four hectares, and is strategically located for the expansion plans pursued by Jewish settlements in an area scattered with Palestinian villages.
According to the reconstruction provided by the local press, the purchase of the complex was carried out by a Swedish company founded in 2007 and disbanded after recording the sale at the administrative Israeli authorities offices. The property was then bought by the ''American Friends of the Everest Foundation", an organization funded by the US millionaire Irving Moskowitz and actively engaged in buying Palestinian real estate in East Jerusalem.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem expressed concern about the effects of a dangerous operation, which risks fueling further conflict in an area already marked by strong tensions. "The manner in which the sale occurred, with several changes of ownership between various intermediaries" highlights Bishop Shomali, "suggests that probably the Presbyterians were deceived. It would certainly have been preferable to make the sale for the benefit of another Church".
Source: Fides News