Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre reopens: 'This is a victory'

Laura Christensen
March 2, 2018

Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Church leaders closed the church's doors after Jerusalem's municipality announced plans to modify a tax exemption in order to collect $186 million in unpaid taxes from church assets including restaurants and hotels, which don't serve as places of worship.

Now suspended, these actions were contrary to the historic agreement between churches and the various civil authorities which ruled Jerusalem, said Bishop Sani Azar.

The statement compared the decisions to "the laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe".

Christian leaders chose to reopen the church after Israel on Tuesday suspended tax measures they strongly oppose.

The Bill, brought by Rachel Azaria, of the Kulanu party, would enable the Israeli government to confiscate lands leased by Churches and assign them to third parties. Trudeau says the situation regarding Jerusalem's status should be resolved through negotiation. But he said the public must also be able to visit.

An Israeli minister will also look into the issue of land sales in Jerusalem by Christian bodies, which prompted the proposed law that is now also suspended. A committee has been set up by the Israeli cabinet that will examine the bill which will permit the Israeli Government to expropriate all Jerusalem land sold by the churches. "Such a measure both undermines the sacred character of Jerusalem, and jeopardizes the Church's ability to conduct its ministry in this land on behalf of its communities and the world-wide Church".

Work begins on Afghan section of gas pipeline to Pakistan, India: Turkmenistan
He described groundbreaking of TAPI project as a historic occasion, which recreates historical linkages that the region had. The Turkmenistan president meanwhile stressed the need for increasing his country's cooperation with Afghanistan.

The secretary general stressed that it would not be possible to establish relations with Israel without ending the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital.

The threat, according to Palestinian Media Watch, comes from Sheik Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem.

One of the holiest sites in Christianity has been shut down indefinitely in protest at new Israeli laws seemingly likened by religious leaders to Nazi persecution.

However, in a February 28 statement, David Nekrutman, executive director of The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, chastised the church leaders for having likened the recent legislative bill to those enacted by Nazi Germany against the Jews.

Rabbi Mordechai Persoff said that Trump, like Cyrus, made a "big declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the holy people". Church officials also said they do not know how the city calculated their debts or decided which buildings to tax.

The church, revered by Christians as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, had been closed for three days to protest the Israeli tax plan.

Other reports by My Hot News

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