CAIRO, Egypt- Egypt denounced the recent assault of Israeli police, on monks of a monastery in Jerusalem, whose ownership is claimed by Egypt’s Orthodox Church. Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli troops broke into Deir el-Sultan Monastery in Jerusalem, which is currently run by Ethiopians, to disband protesting monks, who opposed Israeli attempts to do reparation works inside the monastery.

The Israeli forces also detained one of the Egyptian monks, who was later released, after the interference of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. “Egypt denounces the assault of the Israeli police on a number of priests and deacons of the Deir el-Sultan Monastery in Jerusalem, affiliated to Egypt’s Orthodox Church, and the detention of one of them,” said a statement of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, said, the ministry is closely following up the development of the incident on the ground, and is in constant contact with the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv and the church leading clerics.

Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark Diocese, head of Egypt’s Orthodox Church, said, the Egyptian leadership is concerned about Deir el-Sultan’s assault as a national issue, not just a Coptic one.

The ownership of the 1,000-year-old monastery has been disputed since 1820, according to the Egyptian pope, who stressed, the Israeli constitutional court ruled the Egyptian Orthodox Church’s ownership of the monastery.

He noted that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the Egyptian ambassador to Tel Aviv have been holding several meetings, to discuss the means of returning the monastery to the Egyptian church’s ownership.