Jewish businessman buys Orthodox Patriarchate land in Jerusalem

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — American-Jewish businessman Gary Brent bought at least 520 dunums of lands owned by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in occupied Jerusalem, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported. اضافة اعلان

Brent bought the land for $220 million from its current owners, Nayot Komemiyut Investments, according to Middle East Monitor.

The deal concluded days ago, and the land sold includes about 1,000 housing units the neighborhoods of Rehavia, Talabiyeh, and Nayot, an Israeli newspaper published.

The plots also extend into large parts of the Valley of the Cross, a rare tract of undeveloped land in the center of the capital revered as the place where — according to Christian tradition — the wood was taken to make the crucifix for Jesus, the Times of Israel reported.

The Jewish National Fund (KKL) owns the lease on the land till 2052, with an extension option.

In 2011, the church sold rights to these areas of Jerusalem to an investor group called Nayot Komemiyut for $20 million.

The KKL holds three leases to this land signed with the Greek Orthodox Church in 1951 and 1952, each for 99 years. It also subleases this land to more than 1,000 Jerusalemites who have been affected by the sale.

According to Israeli media, the land in question was at the center of a complicated legal battle in recent years.

In 2021, a Jerusalem court ordered the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to pay KKL-JNF $13 million, plus $80,000 in costs, to compensate for the theft of $20 million over 20 years ago by two fraudsters who were subsequently convicted of embezzling the church.

The ruling was made despite the fact that the patriarchate was also tricked at the time.

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