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FAZ: Why Palestinians are attacking the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem

A long article on the situation in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the wrath of the Palestinians, as manifested in the holidays with egg throwing and protests against Patriarch Theophilus III, is hosted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The cause is the sale of land of land it owns at astronomical prices. The columnist, for example, cites the sale of 240 apartments in the central district of Givat Oranim for $ 3.3 million to anonymous investors from the Virgin Islands. He reports that the real estate agent, lawyer Elias Houri, says that the property of the Patriarchate is not owned by Theophilos but was acquired over the centuries by the Palestinian Christian community and was given in the form of a trust to the church to preserve the presence of the Christians in the Holy City. According to Houri, the Patriarch behaves "worse than the Mafia".

The publication also casts stones against the Patriarch's administration, notably that it does not allow members of the community to control the financial management of revenue from the millions of believers each year, which in their turn lit candles at the Holy Sepulcher. Money does not go to the Patriarchate, but to those who run it, as denounced by Hanan Karkar, a member of the Christian community in Bethlehem. "They want to do their dealings on their own and live their own lives," says the German journalist.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the largest owner of property after the state of Israel. The House, the Supreme Court, the Israeli Museum and the Prime Minister's home have been built on land of the Patriarchate, while in East Jerusalem 37% of the property belongs to the Patriarchate. The newspaper reports on one of Theofilos's latest land sales. It is 43 hectares in Caesarea, near the Mediterranean, which was sold for a million dollars to the state of Israel. In this area there was a national park and a Roman amphitheater. Last August, an Israeli court upheld the sale of two hotels in 2004 near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City in an organization of Jewish settlers with the help of intermediaries.