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Armenian Community of Jerusalem Takes Legal Action to Safeguard Historic Armenian Gardens

Armenian Community of Jerusalem Takes Legal Action to Safeguard Historic Armenian Gardens

In order to protect the cherished Armenian Gardens in Jerusalem, the Armenian community has launched legal action against the lease agreement between the Armenian Patriarchate and Xana Capital. The lawsuit, filed today in the District Court of Jerusalem, seeks to invalidate the contentious lease, asserting that the property is held in trust for the exclusive benefit of the Armenian Community.

The legal action is grounded in a waqf trust established over 400 years ago, legally binding the Patriarchate to ensure that any transaction involving the property directly benefits the Armenian Community and is consented to by its members. In this case, the community contends that neither condition has been met, highlighting the lack of consent and the absence of direct benefits to the community.

The Armenian Community's stance aligns with that of the Saint James Brotherhood, where, in 2021, a majority of its members publicly opposed the deal, citing the Patriarch's alleged lack of authority to execute the agreement. This legal case shows the community's assertion that the Patriarchate overstepped its authority in entering into the disputed agreement.

This legal battle represents a united front by the Armenian Community, the Armenian Patriarchate, and the global Armenian diaspora to cancel the deal and protect the historical and cultural significance of the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem. The land in question holds immense importance, symbolizing the enduring presence of the Armenian Community and the Patriarchate in the region.

Since discovering the allegedly illegal lease, community members have been staging weekly demonstrations, camping on the grounds for over 100 days to voice their opposition to the deal and defend against perceived physical threats and attacks on the land. The community perceives the protection of this land as vital to its survival and is determined to enforce its historic rights in court.

The lawsuit not only supports the Patriarchate's existing legal action but introduces critical arguments within the community's rights to halt what they see as an existential threat to their historic presence in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Armenian Community emphasizes its commitment to justice, transparency, and collaboration, asserting that these principles are pivotal to preserving the Armenian Quarter. Undeterred, the community vows to fight until the end to ensure the Armenian Quarter remains untouched, Armenian, and for the benefit of the Armenian people.

With hundreds of community members rallying behind this legal initiative, the Armenian Community appeals to the international community for support. They urge vigilance against any retaliatory measures and seek solidarity to safeguard the Armenian Garden, protect their rights, and ensure the future of the Armenian people in Jerusalem. The Armenian Community stands united, both on the ground and in the courts, to secure the legacy of the Armenian Quarter for generations to come.


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