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Egyptian, Ethiopian church buildings conflict over Deir al-Sultan in Jerusalem

Egyptian, Ethiopian churches clash over Deir al-Sultan in Jerusalem

CAIRO — Two deputies within the Egyptian parliament — Amr Darwish and Imad Khalil — made pressing statements Could 4 addressed to Egyptian Overseas Minister Sameh Shoukry in regard to what they described as “ongoing provocations by the Ethiopian monks towards the Egyptian monks in Jerusalem.”

Of their statements, the parliamentarians demanded Shoukry to “inform them of the measures taken by his ministry to defend the rights of Egypt, and the rights of the Egyptian monks in Deir al-Sultan in Jerusalem.”

This comes within the wake of the renewed disaster on the Deir al-Sultan monastery within the Outdated Metropolis of Jerusalem after Ethiopian monks erected a tent and raised the flag of their nation inside, Sky Information Arabia reported April 30. They famous that the monastery is owned by the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, so this motion has drastically angered the Egyptian monks.

Consequently, the Egyptian monks gathered within the monastery to take away the tent and the Ethiopian flag, which precipitated gentle clashes with the Ethiopian monks. The safety forces rushed in to calm the state of affairs.

Egyptian and Ethiopian monks have for a few years fought over Deir al-Sultan. In an article in Shorouk Information in 2018, the media spokesman for the Egyptian Council of Church buildings, Father Rafiq Griesh, said that there’s a lengthy historical past of authorized and historic disagreement concerning the monastery’s possession, though the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church has been the proprietor for the reason that Saladin period within the twelfth Century.

Antonios al-Orashalimi, secretary of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of Jerusalem, instructed Al-Monitor, “This monastery has been a historic proper of the Egyptian Coptic Church for the reason that twelfth Century. It remained so till the Israeli authorities assisted the Ethiopian monks on Easter in 1970, by altering its keys and administrative management over it.”

He added, “A case was filed earlier than the Israeli Supreme Court docket, which dominated in favor of the Egyptian monks in March 1971, however this ruling has not but been applied as a result of the court docket had set a situation that the authorities have the fitting to implement the ruling in a well timed method in line with the safety state of affairs. So the Israeli authorities exploit this situation as a pretext for not implementing the ruling, claiming that the state of affairs will not be secure sufficient.”

Talking in regards to the latest clashes, Orashalimi stated, “The Ethiopian monks arrange a tent contained in the monastery yearly, however this yr they added Ethiopian flags, in an try to erase the identification of the monastery. The police got here and compelled them to take away these flags, however after the police left they raised the Ethiopian flag as soon as once more.”

He burdened, “We’ve contacted officers on the Egyptian Overseas Ministry in addition to the Israeli authorities to forestall these frictions, and take away the tent and flag, which occurred on Could 5.”

Orashalimi added, “The Israeli authorities have been requested to jot down an official letter stating that this incident the place Ethiopian monks erected a tent and raised the Ethiopian flag represents a breach of the present establishment within the monastery and that it shall not be repeated once more.”

Tarek al-Khawli, a member of the Egyptian parliament’s Overseas Relations Committee, instructed Al-Monitor, “The Egyptian Coptic Church that owns Deir al-Sultan has all of the authorized paperwork that show its possession of the monastery, and what the Ethiopian monks did can solely be described as thuggery, and attempting to impose a brand new actuality on the bottom.”

He added, “Egypt can by no means waive its rights anyplace, and Ethiopian monks are now not welcome on this monastery after they dedicated these provocative actions.”

Khawli defined, “For many years the Egyptian Coptic Church used to obtain Ethiopian monks contained in the monastery within the absence of shelter, however then they tried to manage the monastery. Consequently, skirmishes broke out with the Egyptian monks.”

The monastery is likely one of the most vital Arab holy websites positioned in East Jerusalem, particularly within the Christian Quarter subsequent to the Queen Helen Coptic Orthodox Church, and the hall resulting in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

In late 2018, a disaster occurred between the Egyptian and Ethiopian church buildings over the possession of Deir al-Sultan. At that time the Israeli authorities allowed Ethiopian monks to revive elements of the monastery with out the Coptic Church’s approval, which angered Egyptian Copts who organized a protest. The Israeli police arrested a monk and dozens of protesters amongst them.

In November 2018, the Egyptian Church issued a assertion noting that “Deir al-Sultan is likely one of the monasteries of the Coptic Church exterior Egypt. The monastery’s buildings and parts point out its Coptic identification, like all Coptic monasteries, and it’s a part of the property of the Coptic Orthodox Church within the Holy Land.”

Kamal Zakher, a Coptic journalist at Egypt’s El-Watan Information, instructed Al-Monitor, “This disaster that’s renewed yearly wants political intervention and the Egyptian and Ethiopian church buildings must intrude to resolve this. Such clashes and disagreements ought to by no means happen between monks on this historic and sacred place.”

He famous, “The significance of Deir al-Sultan in Jerusalem lies in its being a major a part of the historic properties of the Egyptian Church, and one of many most important entrances to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”

Zakher concluded, “The Egyptian and Ethiopian church buildings have historical historic ties, and easy communication between them is adequate to resolve this dispute, in gentle of the court docket ruling and paperwork proving the Egyptian Coptic Church’s proper to this monastery.”

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