Leaders of Jerusalem churches on Monday warned of an Israeli plan to confiscate church-owned lands in the occupied city.

In a letter directed to Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg dated on February 18, the church leaders said there is a plan to expand an Israeli park onto the Olive Mount in East Jerusalem and called for halting it. 

The letter was signed by Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theopolis III, Catholic Church Customs of the Holy Land Francesco Patton, and Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian. 

The church leaders said the Olive Mount is one of the sacred places in Christianity, which hosts Christian holy sites visited by millions of Christians worldwide. 

Copies of the letter were also sent to the Consuls-General of Turkiye, France, Italy, Greece, Spain and Sweden in Jerusalem. 

Last year, the heads of churches protested attempts by Israeli settler groups to seize control of church properties in occupied East Jerusalem. 

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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