Standoff at the Cows' Garden

Standoff at Cows’ Garden of Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter


ARMENIAN QUARTER, JERUSALEM (Save the ArQ, Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem) – On November 5, around 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon, a group of Israeli settlers entered the Armenian Quarter’s Goverou Bardez [Cows’ Garden] where the Armenian community was stationed to prevent the further illegal demolition of the interior walls of the Cows’ Garden.

Armenian clergy at Cows Garden

Danny Rothman and George Warwar, representatives of Xana Capital, backed with about 15 armed settlers and attack dogs, demanded the expulsion of Armenians, calling it their land. Warwar threatened the community, exclaiming that he’ll “get them one by one.” The settlers were also active, announcing that the Armenians are all “Goys and when the Messiah comes, [they] will all die.”

The Armenian community refused to back down and stood firmly on the rightfully owned property. Save the ArQ Movement community leaders Hagop Djernazian and Setrag Balian and the legal team, led by international lawyer Karnig Kerkonian, convened an emergencymeeting and a member of the team, Eitan Peleg, arrived on scene to negotiate the stand down.

Armenian clergy, including, seated third from left, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Nourhan Manougian

Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Nourhan Manougian also arrived on the scene and stood side by side with the Armenian community of Jerusalem, along with priests and bishops. The community stood strong, with 200 members in unity to prevent the takeover and save the Armenian Quarter.

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As of now, the Israeli settlers and united Armenian community have dispersed, but the situation is ongoing.

The aforementioned standoff took place after the Armenian Patriarchate sent a letter stating that it considered the contract to rent the Cows’ Garden territory null and void. According to the Chancellery of the Patriarchate, as of November 6, no answer had been received to this letter.

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