Jerusalem’s church leaders accuse Israel of reneging on previous taxation agreement

JERUSALEM, Saturday, Leaders of the largest three churches in Jerusalem have accused Israel of reneging on a previous agreement reached between them regarding taxing church property.

The French news agency, AFP, said on Friday that leaders of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches as well as a senior Latin Church official sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to block a draft legislation a ministerial committee is going to discuss on Sunday that aims at expropriating their property.

We were astonished to realize that this disgraceful bill was listed on the agenda of the ministerial committee for legislation this coming Sunday, said the letter, according to AFP, calling on Netanyahu to stop this bill once and for all.

In an unprecedented step, the Israeli government decided earlier this year to tax the churches millions of dollars in back property tax, prompting them to shut down the Holy Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem, the most sacred site in Christianity, in a protest move for three days forcing Israel to freeze the decision.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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