Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen reports that the available information indicates that a senior PLO officer named Manasra, considered "close" to Arafat, arrested an Arab of Beit Jala who "confessed" that he received half-a-million dollars from Greek Orthodox Church Director Timothy Metropolitan of Vostra, in order to murder Irineos. However, sources in the Church told Cohen that this is nothing more than a frame-up, engineered by Bishop Isikeos (sp?) - the #2 man in the Greek Orthodox Church and an ally of Irineos.
The purpose of the frame-up, according to the sources, is to prevent Timothy from being considered as Jerusalem's Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church. Church doctrine stipulates that one who was suspected of wrongdoing cannot be appointed as Patriarch, and may even be stripped of his priesthood.
Arafat has already given the word to his Greek Orthodox Church supporters in Greece to file a police complaint against Timothy for "conspiracy to murder."
Timothy himself responded to questions on this issue from our reporter by saying, "I don't want to talk in the media about this… In issues like this, as Secretary-General of the Church, I can tell you that they must be treated with prayer and silence." In response to further prodding, he only repeated again, "Prayer and silence."
It should be recalled that the appointment of Irineos as Patriarch is being held up by the Israeli Government after his close ties to Arafat were revealed. The appointment must be ratified by Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority - the latter two of which have already ratified it.
The Greek Orthodox Church owns many properties in western Jerusalem, including those on which stand the Knesset, the Prime Minister's and President's residence, the Great Synagogue, and more. The Patriarch thus has the authority to carry out many large-scale real estate deals, and in fact Irineos informed Arafat a few months ago that he plans to grant him as "a personal gift" land in western Jerusalem.