Palestinians attack car of Greek Patriarch in protest against land deals

From Reuters - January 6, 2018

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian Christians on Saturday pummeled the car of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem during a visit to the occupied West Bank in protest against the churchs decision to sell land to Jewish groups.

The Greek Orthodox church is one of the biggest private landowners in the Holy Land and in recent years has stirred controversy both among Israelis and Palestinians by trying to sell prime assets to private investors.

Hundreds of Palestinians blocked Patriarch Theophilos IIIs convoy as he drove to a church in Bethlehem to attend an Orthodox Christmas mass.

Protestors threw stones and water bottles and pounded his car with their fists, chanting traitor, traitor, before Palestinian security forces pushed them away. Three cars in the convoy, but not the Patriarchs vehicle, had their windows smashed.

Demonstrator Elyeef Sayegh said: What happened today is a message to the Palestinian Authority and to Jordan that we will not allow this traitor to stay in the Church.


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