Israel beats Coptic monks during protest in Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces have beaten Coptic monks on Wednesday at Der al-Sultan Monastery in Jerusalem during a protest against preventing the Coptic Church of Egypt from doing restoration works at the monastery.

The monks were opposing Israeli-led-restoration works in favor of the Ethiopian Copts who have disassociated from the Coptic Church since the 1970s.

The Israeli police dragged and pinned to the ground Egyptian monk Macarius Orshalemy before arresting him at the protest, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem said.

The Israeli government decided to take a permit from the Ethiopian Copts to implement the restoration works, ignoring the church’s offer that it would pay the costs of the restoration works.

“They refused to let us renovate and repair the chapel inside the monastery in order to show that we don’t have any relation with the place and that it belongs to the Ethiopian monks,” Coptic Bishop Anba Antonius told the newswire Middle East Eye.

Official spokesperson of Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Hafez said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “denounces the Israeli attack on [the Coptic] monk,” revealing that the ministry managed to release the arrested monk.

The Der al-Sultan Monastery sits on top of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and is currently controlled and managed by the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem, despite an Israeli high court ruling in 1971 that affirmed the Egyptian Coptic Church’s ownership over the monastery.

Edited translation from al-Masry al-Youm

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