The Israeli prime minister’s office on Tuesday announced that Israel’s Jerusalem municipality had suspended plans to levy taxes on property owned by churches in Jerusalem.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat have agreed to establish a professional team to formulate a solution to the issue of municipal taxes on properties owned by churches that are not houses of worship,” the statement read.
The team will include representatives of Israel’s finance, foreign affairs and the interior ministries, along with the Jerusalem Municipality, who “will negotiate with church representatives to resolve the issue”, according to the statement.
"The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has announced it will reopen its doors after Israel decided to suspend legislation regarding collecting taxes from churches and their properties in Jerusalem." https://t.co/f9YlXbv3tG
— Ben White (@benabyad) February 27, 2018
The apparent reversal prompted joyous celebrations by hundreds of Palestinian Christians who gathered outside Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher to express their satisfaction.
“Over 500 Palestinians marched through the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City to celebrate the decision,” Adeeb Joudeh al-Husseini, custodian of the iconic church, said.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) February 27, 2018
“Demonstrators demanded the total cancellation of the new tax policy and condemned all arbitrary measures taken by Israel against Christian churches,” he added.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)