“Violence breeds violence, and in this case there is no winner, but rather everyone loses,” he said, stressing the exclusive right of Muslims to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.
His Beatitude mentioned the unjustified measures on the Holy Saturday of Light by placing barriers and closures in front of the faithful, which leads to tension and disturbs the festive atmosphere. His Beatitude also stressed the right of Sheikh Jarrah’s residents to “express their righteous concerns and to live in their neighbourhoods with dignity and respect aside from the policy of expulsion and displacement.”
His Beatitude noted the danger of the rise of the extreme right, which seeks to push the Holy City out of centralised sanctity.
“The three religions coexist with each other on the basis of the message of the prophets that is based on justice, mutual respect and brotherly love among the sons of Abraham,” he said.
Fr Issa Musleh, spokesperson of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said that the attacks and violence against the worshipers since the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan in the Holy Mosque of Al Aqsa cannot pass by, and Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood today reminds us of the pain of the first asylum in 1948, and its painful image.
“The fact that the families of Sheikh Jarrah are facing displacement again after 73 years of the first asylum, despite the fact that they have the legal right and the identification papers of their homes for decades is a real human tragedy that is not accepted by international laws and regulations, neither by the message of the divine religions,” said Musleh.
Musleh called on the international community to protect the Islamic and Christian Holy places from the “greed and arrogance of the settlers who continue day and night to change the features of the holy city and rob Muslims and Christians of their properties in Jerusalem in twisted ways, as is happening today in the Sheikh Jarrah area in East Jerusalem and the properties of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in the heart of Harat el Nasarah and at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at Jaffa gate, represented by the Imperial, Petra and Azamiya hotels.”
The church concluded its statement by emphasizing the necessity of respecting the historical status quo, legal status of the holy places, and international action in order for Jerusalem to be “the key to peace and love, and for good to triumph over evil, because this is how Jesus Christ wanted it through his resurrection from the heart of the Church of the Resurrection for the salvation of mankind.”