The EU missions call on Israel to protect the status quo and the holy sites in East Jerusalem

The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday called on Israel to protect the status quo and holy places in East Jerusalem, including Christian ones.

A statement issued by the missions, a copy of which was received by Xinhua, said that members of the "Elad" settlement organization, accompanied by the Israeli police, seized last Tuesday a property in the "Wadi Hilweh" area in Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The statement added that the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate had been renting the property for decades to one of the tenants in Jerusalem.

He expressed the deep concern of the EU Delegations in Jerusalem and Ramallah about the repercussions of this measure on the property rights of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Christian churches in Jerusalem in general, including in the Old City.

He stressed that stopping attempts to seize the property of Christian churches is a must, because they constitute a serious threat to the peaceful coexistence between the three monotheistic religions in Jerusalem.

The statement stressed the need to preserve the special status and character of Jerusalem and its Old City and to respect them by all.

There was no Israeli comment on this.

The Greek Patriarchate condemned in a statement last Tuesday the Israeli action that was taken "without any right or judicial decision against the five-dunum property, stressing its adherence to all its rights, properties and endowments, and will spare no effort to protect and defend it."

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