2

According to news reports, there were altercations between French and Israeli security personnel when French president Macron visited the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem's Old City, with a BBC report claiming that the church is "considered French territory", due to it having been gifted from the Ottoman Empire to France in 1856.

Did the Ottoman Empire actually transfer sovereignty over the church to France, or did they simply grant ownership and/or other rights over the property to France?

If so, did such French rights survive 1) the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the granting of the Mandate for Palestine to the UK, 2) after the end of the Mandate, the military occupations of Jerusalem's Old City first by Jordan and then by Israel, and 3) Israel's unilateral extension of its sovereignty to East Jerusalem, including the Old City?

2

No, the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem is not an integral part of the French territory. The Ottoman Empire transfered the property rights (they did not cede their sovereignty) of the church to France.

It is, however, the property of the French state and is listed as 1 of 4 properties in the Holy Land that have a special Domaine national status, just as the Palace of Versailles has.

The national domains are real estate complexes presenting an exceptional link with the history of the Nation and of which the State is, at least in part, owner.

The recent (2020-01-22) changes made to the english version of the Wikipedia article, that make this claim, were probably based on the franceinfo – France Télévisions report of the same date, which uses the term territoires français instead of domaine national. The BBC article repeats this claim together with a photo supplied by Agence France-Presse, but not in the body of the article. The Wikipedia article has been updated (2020-01-23), with this claim removed.

In both videos of Presidents Chirac (1996) and Macron (2020), they do not make such a claim. Their actions do, however, reflect that of a property owner. Despite the fact that the Fischer-Chauvel Agreement of 1948 has not been ratified, the Israeli officials respected (however reluctantantly) the wishes of the property owner.

International law does not forsee, that a property belonging to another country is an integral part of that country's territory.

The only restriction that exists is in the case of an Embassy/Consulate, where permission must be explicitly granted before local officials may enter the property to perform a sovereign act (such as an arrest).


Église Sainte-Anne de Jérusalem
En 1856, après la guerre de Crimée, la France reçut l'église du Sultan Abdülmecid Ier en remerciement de son aide à la Turquie[2]. Sainte-Anne fut donc restaurée et l'État français la confia en 1877 à Monseigneur Lavigerie et à sa Société des missionnaires d'Afrique. Entre 1882 et 1946, le lieu abrita un séminaire pour la formation des prêtres grecs-catholiques.

In 1856, after the Crimean War, France received the church of Sultan Abdülmecid I in thanks for its aid to Turkey [2]. Sainte-Anne was therefore restored and the French State entrusted it in 1877 to Monseigneur Lavigerie and his Society of Missionaries of Africa. Between 1882 and 1946, the place housed a seminar for the training of Greek-Catholic priests.

Note: Source is given as: Ruth Kark, Michal Oren-Nordheim, Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948, Wayne State University Press, 2001, p. 58.

In 1856, the sultan gave over to the French government the ruins of the Church of St. Annes inside the Lions' Gate.

En 1996, lors de la visite de Jacques Chirac dans la partie arabe de Jérusalem, le président français refusa d'entrer dans l'église tant que des soldats israéliens qui l’accompagnaient n'en seraient pas sortis. Le 22 janvier 2020, lors d'une nouvelle visite présidentielle, Emmanuel Macron a lui aussi exigé que les services de sécurité israéliens sortent de ce territoire français, rappelant « les règles qui existent depuis plusieurs siècles »[5].

In 1996, during Jacques Chirac's visit to the Arab part of Jerusalem, the French president refused to enter the church until Israeli soldiers who accompanied him left it. On January 22, 2020, during a new presidential visit, Emmanuel Macron also demanded that the Israeli security services leave this French territory, recalling "the rules that have existed for several centuries"[5].

Source [5]: franceinfo – France Télévisions (2020-01-22)
C'est un coup de sang qui n'est pas sans rappeler celui de Jacques Chirac en 1996. Des échanges tendus se sont tenus entre Emmanuel Macron et les forces de sécurité israéliennes qui encadraient sa visite à Jérusalem, mercredi 22 janvier, rapporte le reporter de franceinfo sur place.
Le président de la République est arrivé avec plus de trois heures de retard mercredi dans l'église Sainte-Anne, l'un des territoires français de Jérusalem où les forces de l'ordre israéliennes ne sont pas autorisées à entrer. Aux alentours de 15 heures, heure française, une bousculade s'est produite à l'entrée de ce lieu de culte. Emmanuel Macron a alors haussé le ton, en anglais : "Everybody know the rules. I don't like what you did in front of me. Go outside. I'm sorry. You know the rules. Nobody has to provoke nobody" ("Tout le monde connaît les règles. Je n'aime pas ce que vous avez fait devant moi. Allez dehors. Je suis désolé. Vous connaissez les règles"), a-t-il lancé au milieu d'une foule compacte. Les forces de sécurité israéliennes ont ensuite quitté le domaine.

It was a bloodshed that is reminiscent of that of Jacques Chirac in 1996. Tense exchanges were held between Emmanuel Macron and the Israeli security forces who framed his visit to Jerusalem on Wednesday, January 22, reports the reporter. from franceinfo on site. The President of the Republic arrived more than three hours late Wednesday at Sainte-Anne church, one of the French territories in Jerusalem where Israeli law enforcement officials are not allowed to enter. Around 3 p.m. French time, a stampede occurred at the entrance to this place of worship. Emmanuel Macron then raised his voice, in English: "Everybody know the rules. I don't like what you did in front of me. Go outside. I'm sorry. You know the rules. Nobody has to provoke nobody" ("Everyone knows the rules. I don't like what you did in front of me. Go outside. I'm sorry. You know the rules"), he launched in the middle of a compact crowd. Israeli security forces then left the area.

Church of Saint Anne, Jerusalem
In 1856, in gratitude for French support during the Crimean War, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I presented it to Napoleon III. It was subsequently restored, but the majority of what remains today is original. The French government claims St. Anne belongs to the French government.
French claim
French presidents have claimed that the church is under French protection, owned by its government, and is French territory. In 1996, during Jacques Chirac’s visit to Jerusalem, the French president refused to enter the church until Israeli soldiers who accompanied him left. Similarly in January 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron was involved in an altercation with Israeli security officers at the church.[6] The French claim seems to be based on the Fischer-Chauvel Agreement of 1948, if not based on an earlier basis.

The Fischer-Chauvel Agreement was an agreement made in 1948 between the French and Israeli governments involving the status of French institutions in the newly founded State of Israel and claimed by France as "Domaine national française". The agreement was signed for Israel by Maurice Fischer (1903–1965), an Israeli diplomat in France at the time. The agreement was never ratified by Israel.[1] The French claims are based on claimed acquisitions predating the formation of the State of Israel.

Domaine national
L'article 75 indique notamment que « Les domaines nationaux sont des ensembles immobiliers présentant un lien exceptionnel avec l'histoire de la Nation et dont l'État est, au moins pour partie, propriétaire. » Cet article modificateur crée une nouvelle section « domaines nationaux » dans le Code du patrimoine (section 6, chapitre 1er, titre II, livre VI, partie législative, soit les articles L621-34 à L621-41). Le décret paru le 29 mars 2017 ne donne pas non plus de liste.

National domain
Article 75 indicates in particular that "The national domains are real estate complexes presenting an exceptional link with the history of the Nation and of which the State is, at least in part, owner. This amending article creates a new "national domains" section in the Heritage Code (section 6, chapter 1, title II, book VI, legislative part, ie articles L621-34 to L621-41). The decree published on March 29, 2017 does not give a list either.

Domaine national français en Terre sainte
...
- l'église Sainte-Anne, à Jérusalem-Est.

French national domain in the Holy Land
...
- St. Anne's Church in East Jerusalem.


Sources:

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