Armenian Christians in Jerusalem Unite to Fight Controversial Land Deal

The Armenians of Jerusalem have come together to protest against a controversial land deal that threatens their community’s survival. The deal involves a 98-year lease granted to a developer to build and operate a luxury hotel in an area known as the Cow’s Garden. The plot includes a church car park, church buildings, and the homes of five Armenian families, accounting for 25% of the Armenian Quarter in the walled Old City. The Armenians have been protesting against the development by organizing sit-ins, setting up a makeshift barricade, and even facing attacks by armed settlers and masked thugs. The development has sparked tensions between the Armenian community and the developer, with confrontations occurring on the contested site. There are suspicions that a powerful settler organization is involved in the attempted land takeover, as Jewish investors have been trying to cement Israeli control over occupied East Jerusalem since Israel captured the Old City in the 1967 Middle East War. The Armenian Church has taken legal action to challenge the validity of the contract, but the locals are prepared for a long legal battle. Despite the legal proceedings, it remains uncertain whether the incursions on the land can be stopped in the meantime. This ongoing struggle highlights the determination of the Armenian Christians in Jerusalem to defend their rights and presence in the holy city.