Old fight over Jerusalem hotel spoils Christmas cheer


Old fight over Jerusalem hotel spoils Christmas cheer

It’s the centre of a 15-year fight between Jewish settlers and its Palestinian owners – and the Greek Orthodox Church


The Christmas tree is up at the entrance to the Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem, but for its Palestinian hosts there is little festive cheer amid fears they could be evicted in favour of Israeli settlers.

The hotel, on the corner of Jaffa Gate in the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City, is at the centre of a years-long ownership dispute between the settlers and the Palestinian tenants.

In June, Israel’s Supreme Court finally concluded that the settler organisation Ateret Cohanim had legally bought the hotel, along with two other nearby buildings, from the Greek Orthodox Church in a controversial and secret 2004 deal...

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