Ethnic Cleansing Poses Existential Threat to Ancient Armenian Community in Jerusalem, Says Patriarchate

JERUSALEM, Israel – The Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem has expressed deep concern over the safety of the city’s ancient Armenian community, calling the recent attack in the Armenian Quarter an “existential threat.” According to patriarchal authorities, the attack, which was attributed to Israeli settlers, has raised fears of ethnic cleansing in the area.

Masked men reportedly stormed the Armenian Quarter in occupied East Jerusalem, targeting residents and even throwing rocks at Orthodox clergy. Although police later intervened and cleared the area, patriarchal authorities have expressed disappointment over the lack of repercussions for those responsible. This incident is part of a wider trend of settler attacks on Palestinians, which have escalated in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since Hamas’s assault on Israel on October 7.

In a statement, the Patriarchate emphasized the severity of the situation, stating that not only are the clergy, seminarians, and indigenous Armenians at risk, but they are also “fighting for their very lives.” Calling for action, the Patriarchate has urged the Israeli government and police to launch an investigation against individuals allegedly involved in organizing the attack on the Armenian Patriarchate and community.

Those accused are said to have been involved in disputed commercial deals aimed at acquiring land in the Armenian Quarter. Residents have pointed fingers at one of the named individuals, George Warwar, for orchestrating the assault.

The Armenian community’s plea for help underscores the urgency of addressing the escalating violence in the region. The continued attacks on historic communities in Jerusalem demand swift and decisive action from authorities to ensure the safety and security of all residents.

In the face of the recent assault on the Armenian Quarter, authorities at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem are calling for a thorough investigation into the incident and for accountability for those responsible in a bid to safeguard the ancient Armenian community.