ARMENIAN AND GREEK CLERGYMEN SCUFFLE IN JERUSALEM
21.04.2008 13:34 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian clergymen and laymen engaged in a scuffle
with Greek Orthodox clergymen during the Holy Palm Sunday ceremony
in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 20.
According to participants of the ceremony, a Greek clergyman, who,
according to the status-quo, has no right to be present in the site
of the Holy Sepulchre during the Armenian procession, was present
there and as a result was forced out.
The Israeli Police was quick to respond by calling tens of their
men in order to allow the Greek clergyman to return to his post,
an action which led to deterioration of the situation.
Two Armenians were arrested once the procession was over, which led
to a protest by the Armenians in front of the police station (next
to the Armenian Convent of St. James) till the two were released.
Meanwhile, one of participants of the ceremony, Apo Sahagian told
PanARMENIAN.Net that "when the Armenian priests entered Christ’s grave
(which is part of the sermon) they were surprised to see an Israeli
cop and a Greek priest."
"While the Greek priest left the grave, a struggle broke out
between the cop (whom called backup) and the Armenian clergyman and
civilians. The police did use violence against the clergyman, and did
threaten many civilians during the scuffle. Many Armenian clergymen
and civilians intervened to end the fight, which they successfully
did. However, the police still threatened to arrest the Armenians,
especially many young men," Apo Sahagian said in his message.
He said he and his father Serop Sahagian "were taken into custody
and were released after one and a half hours of interrogation."