Palestinians Accuse Patriarch Irenaios Skopelitis of Selling Land to Israelis Hot

Palestinians Accuse Patriarch Irenaios Skopelitis of Selling Land to Israelis

Orthodox Patriarch Irenaios Skopelitis

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In Jerusalem, the Holy Synod of Jerusalem of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre dismisses Orthodox Patriarch Irenaios Skopelitis because of accusations that he sold church land to Zionist groups seeking to enlarge the Jewish presence in Jerusalem's Old City.

Most Orthodox Christians in the region are Palestinian and the land which Irenaios is accused of selling is in an Arab-majority area which Palestinians hope would be part of a Palestinian capital in the future. The decision to sell the land to Israeli developers is thus perceived as a sort of treason against Palestinian political and national ambitions.

A report from a Palestinian Commission is released after this decision and it concludes that Irenaios was framed:

"A very well calculated plan...schemed by a number of clerics opposing Ireneos in collaboration with Israeli Extreme Right Wingers. Their interest converged in the aim of getting rid of Ireneos step by step."

The evidence no longer matters, though, because people are too angry to think coherently or rationally. His successor, Theophilos III, keeps him locked in his apartment, not allowing anyone to visit or allowing him out. According to Marwan Tubasi, head of the Council of Arab Orthodox Organizations and a Palestinian Authority,"The new patriarch is punishing the old one, keeping him behind closed doors to secure his position."

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

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