Jerusalem, 26 January 2024.- Activist and SavetheArQ (ArQ: Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem) co-founder Hagop Djernazian was attacked past midnight of Jan. 24 by a henchman hired by Xana’s Danny Rothman and George Warwar who have their eyes on the Armenian Patriarchate’s Cows’ Garden which covers 25 percent of the Armenian Quarter. Since the beginning of the conflict, Djernazian, has campaigned against Xana’s plan to build a luxury hotel in the Garden.
Djernazian was at Cows’ Garden’s mobile guard house, along with a group of Armenian men, when a heavy-set man (Ishaq Maswadeh) approached Djernazian and suddenly hit him in the face. The criminal was accompanied by half-a-dozen fellow hooligans. The Armenian guards quickly stopped a further attack. They guard Cows’ Garden against Xana’s land grab and allow drivers who are qualified to park in the Garden’s parking lot. Like Djernazian, Maswadeh is in his early twenties.
Maswadeh, a man of unsavory reputation, was taken to jail. However, he was released a few hours later on condition that he would not enter Jerusalem’s Old City (where the Armenian Quarter is) for 15 days and not enter Cows’ Garden or get close to Djernazian for thirty days.
Djernazian, a student at the Hebrew University, said: “Our local legal team will take legal steps.” Because of his activism, Djernazian had been threatened a number of times. He said the facial pain lasted just a day. This was the first one-on-one attack on an Armenian since the Cows’ Garden lease controversy became public.
Non-Armenian (Muslim and Christian) community leaders condemned the attack and have stood by the Armenian Church and community against Xana’s encroachments.
Introductory photo: Hagop Djernazian (bearded, wearing white sweater, in mid-photo) at a public gathering.