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Israeli Police Raids Church to Protect Ousted Patriarch's Accomplice

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2005.05.09 IPC: INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTER www.ipc.gov.ps 09/05/2005 Israeli Police Raids Church to Protect Ousted Patriarch s Accomplice GAZA, May 9, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2005
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      2005.05.09 IPC:


      Israeli Police Raids Church to Protect Ousted Patriarch's Accomplice

      GAZA, May 9, 2005 (IPC + Agencies) - - Israeli occupation police raided the
      Orthodox Church in the village of Kufor Kanna, in the Galilee, after being
      called by the spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Irineos I, which
      was dismissed of his religious post following a real estate scandal.

      The Roman Orthodox congregation of the village condemned the raid Israeli
      police made in the children, to protect Gabriel Naddaf, who claimed he was
      going to be assaulted.

      A large number of policemen stormed the inner sanctum of the church and
      caused chaos and panic among the congregation, who were attending the
      Sunday Mass. The policemen also arrested the deputy former head of the
      village council, Adnan Matar, and the council member Nabil Abu Dawood.

      The congregation of Kufor Kanna had informed Father Naddaf that they didn't
      welcome him at their church on Sunday Mass, but he insisted on visiting the
      church and called Israeli police when the congregation told him that he was
      a persona non grata in Kufor Kanna.

      Naddaf's guards attempted to force their way into the church, prompting a
      heated quarrel with the members of the congregation, especially after
      Israeli policemen raided the church's inner sanctum.

      Speaking to Arab48 news website, Arab member of the Israeli Knesset Wasel
      Taha asserted that the rude actions of the Israeli police and arresting
      prominent figures among the congregation has caused chaos in the village,
      denying the allegations about an assault taking place against Naddaf or
      those accompanying him.

      The people of Kufor Kanna, Muslims and Christians, organized a sit-in
      inside the church to express their solidarity with the congregation's
      leaders who refused to receive any accomplices to the former Patriarch
      Irineos I, who was involved in a scandal about selling real estate owned by
      the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem to Jewish investors.

      Irineos was dismissed of his position as Greek Orthodox Patriarch last
      Thursday, by a unanimous decision of the Holy Synod. A committee of three
      priests was assigned in his place to supervise the church's affairs until a
      new Patriarch was elected, said Archimandrite Atallah Hanna, the spokesman
      for Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, said on Friday.
      Following his removal from office, Patriarch Irineos fled the Orthodox
      Church in Jerusalem, under the protection of Israeli forces, to an
      undisclosed location, after angering the Orthodox community in Jerusalem
      and the Palestinians with his involvement in the deal.

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