The conflict started last year regarding the signing of the 99 years lease of the Goveroun Bardez to Jewish businessman continues to keep the community in tense.
Every year on the 18th and 19th of January, Jerusalemite Armenians celebrate Christmas under the presidency of the Patriarch.
This year the Patriarch didn’t participate in the ceremonies he didn’t entered to Bethlehem as part of the official entrance because he isn’t feeling well due to the tense situation following the Goveroun Bardez conflict.
Our interviewee with 1.NewsAM one of the members of the community mentioned that Patriarch Nourhan most probably was absent not because he wasn’t feeling good but we assume he didn’t want to appear in front of the Palestinian officials and also in front of the community members, because the Palestinians complaint against the signed contract by the Patriarch leasing the goveroun Bardez for 99 years.
Every Year Patriarch Nourhan enters to Bethlehem as part of the official entrance where Palestinian officials welcome him. In these ceremonies the Palestinian Prime Minister or President participate.
It is worth mentioning that one month ago a Palestinian delegation visited Armenia in order to discuss and stop the lease of the Goveroun Bardez.
In the Christmas clebrations Fr. Baret Yeretzian was absent who signed the deal as well. We assume he stayed in his house in this festive day because he is rejected by the Palestinians and the community that’s why he didn’t participate in the Christmas ceremonies.
Even though the Palestinian authorities expressed their disappointment with the Goveroun Bardez contract, they respected the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Armenian Community the attended the Christmas celebrations with a large number of representatives.
In this conflict the Brotherhood is separated into two sides, one side supports the Patriarch and one side against him. It is mentioned that if the situation continues to stay like this and the Patriarch will not go to the public his resignation will be demanded.
We have to mention that, a land cannot be given to 99 years, it is illegal because no one has the right to give Armenian properties for 99 years, according to the Patriarchate’s constitution the maximum a land can be given is for 49 years only.
After the holidays the process will continue in order to try and stop this embarrassing contract.