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Church in Jerusalem scrambles to regain trust of community after deal with settler group

The Orthodox Patriarchate was dealt a new blow as the Israeli Central Court rejected its appeal against the deal known as Bab Al-Khalil.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Israeli Jerusalem District Court rejected June 24 the appeal submitted by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate on June 23 to block the transfer of church property to an Israeli settlement association. The court had earlier issued a ruling asserting the validity of a renewable deal whereby the settlement association Ateret Cohanim rented properties from the Orthodox Church in Bab al-Khalil in Jerusalem for a period of 99 years. 

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate spokesman Father Issa Musleh told Al-Monitor the Patriarchate will resort to the Israeli High Court of Justice in the coming period, as it has documents proving the existence of corruption in the deal. 

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