The Greek Orthodox Church is denouncing an Israeli court decision that ruled a 2004 sale of prime church property to companies representing Jews seeking to expand their presence in Jerusalem's Old City was done legally.
In an ad published in the Al Quds newspaper on Tuesday Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III asserted the deal was conducted illegally under the watch of the previous patriarch – who was deposed as a result.
The court's decision paves the way for three Old City structures to be leased for 99 years to Ateret Cohanim – a group associated with West Bank settlers. The patriarch says it will “exert all the efforts and legal and financial means to cancel this deal.”
Most of Jerusalem's Orthodox Christians are Palestinian, and reject selling land to Jews.