TEL AVIV, April 8. /TASS/. Russia will do its utmost to protect its legitimate property interests in Israel, including the rights to the Alexander Metochion in the Old City of Jerusalem, the press service of the Russian Embassy in Israel said on Wednesday.
"The Russian Federation will take all the necessary measures to defend its legitimate property interests in Israel, including those related to the Alexander Metochion," the press service said commenting on a recent decision by the Jerusalem District Court to suspend Russia’s renewal of registration for that property after a lawsuit was launched by an organization known as the Orthodox Palestine Society in the Holy Land that is unlawfully occupying the grounds.
The embassy noted that Russia was working on its response to the claim, adding that it would be submitted to court in accordance with Israeli legislation.
On Tuesday, The Marker Israeli newspaper reported that the Jerusalem District Court had suspended the registration until the lawsuit hearing was completed.
On January 23, Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection and co-chair of the Russian-Israeli intergovernmental commission Ze’ev Elkin said that Israel had begun the legal process of registering the Alexander Metochion in Russia in response to Moscow’s request.
The Alexander Metochion is located in the Old City of Jerusalem in close proximity to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Threshold of the Judgement Gate and the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky are located on its territory. The land for its construction was purchased by Russian Emperor Alexander II in 1859. The compound was built by the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in 1896. The controversy surrounding its ownership began after the 1917 Revolution in Russia.