Israeli Government Bulldozes Catholic Bishops Property in Jerusalem

by Steve Ray on November 8, 2013

Latin Patriarchate house razed
7 November 2013

The Patriarch of Jerusalem has vowed to take legal action against the Israeli Government after bulldozers of the Jerusalem municipality demolished a house belonging to the Patriarchate.

The attack on the house on the Jerusalem-Hebron road, which was inhabited by a family of 14, endangered the future of peace in the region, Patriarch Fouad Twal said.

The bulldozers were accompanied by Israeli Security forces, the Patriarchate said in a statement on its website.

The Patriarch, who visited the site yesterday and gave a press conference there, said the destruction was “painful and upsetting.”

He visited the site with Bishop William Shomali, patriarchal vicar of Jerusalem, and Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, patriarchal vicar for Israel, Fr Humam Khzouz, General Director of the Patriarchate, Fr George Ayoub, Chancellor; other priests, the director of the Patriarchate Endowment, lawyers, engineers, consuls of foreign countries, including Italy and Belgium, representatives of Churches and institutions; and journalists from local and foreign news agencies.

“[It] raises discontent and anger. There is no justification for the demolition, but when the municipality and the Israeli Government enact demolitions and displace people from their homes, these practices increase hatred and endanger the future of peace,” he added.

The land had belonged to the Latin Patriarchate long before 1967, he said, adding that he and the tenants, who were living there legally, would take legal action to rebuild the house.

“We have willpower and a spirit of belonging to this land of our ancestors, this sacred land which is home of our past, present and future,” he told a press conference.

The Red Cross has provided the displaced family with tents and assistance.

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