Israeli occupation forces and an Israeli engineering committee broke into the Sultan s monastery Of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Jerusalem under the pretext of its restoration, despite the refusal of His Holiness Bishop Antony, the Coptic Archbishop of Jerusalem.
We reject any unilateral decisions which would change the features of the monastery and the situation on the ground. This is a blatant violation of international law, all international conventions and relevant resolutions and is considered as targeting of Christian minorities in East Jerusalem.
This Coptic Orthodox monastery is located within the walls of the Old City of East Jerusalem. The importance of the Monastery of the Sultan to the Copts is that it is their direct route from the Monastery of St. Anthony to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
This monastery is the seat of the Egyptian Patriarchate and the Coptic Church in Jerusalem. The occupation forces took over the monastery without right and gave it to the Ethiopian Church on 25 April 1970.
Ever since, the Egyptian Church has been making strenuous efforts to recover it.
Ownership of the monastery has been always to the Coptic orthodox church that had all the documents that prove that and had a decision of the high Israeli court which said that " deir al sultan must back to the hand of the Coptic church " the soley owner " of it .
The Bishop of Jerusalem, Bishop Antonius, made a protest today to prevent the breaking into the monastery by Israeli forces, but this didn t prevent them from breaking into the monastery not respecting even their own court decisions.
The Egyptian State shall, in accordance with its legal powers, protect the rights of its citizens through the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request the summoning of the Israeli Ambassador to protest this attack.
I assure that all illegal procedures taken by the Israeli occupation should be annulled in compliance with Security Council resolutions and relevant resolutions of international legitimacy. I call upon the Egyptian state to adopt this issue and even to internationalize it to pressure Israel to hand over the monastery to the Egyptian Church and I also call on the Council of Churches of the Middle East and the World Council of Churches to show solidarity with the Egyptian Church and condemn the attack on the Egyptian Monastery.