In Jerusalem’s contested Old City, shrinking Armenian community fears displacement after land deal
A real estate deal in Jerusalem's Old City, at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has sent the historic Armenian community there into a panic as residents search for answers about the feared loss of their homes to a mysterious investor.
The 99-year lease of some 25% of the Old City's Armenian Quarter has touched sensitive nerves in the Holy Land and sparked a controversy extending far beyond the Old City walls. The fallout has forced the highest authority of the Armenian Orthodox Church to cloister himself in a convent and prompted a disgraced priest who is allegedly behind the deal to flee to a Los Angeles suburb.
"If they sell this place, they sell my heart," Garo Nalbandian, an 80-year-old photojournalist, said of the Ottoman-era barracks where he has lived for five decades among a dwindling community of Armenians. Their ancestors came to Jerusalem...