The mayor of Jerusalem on Tuesday 27th February said he was working with a third party to resolve a tax dispute that has been going on with major Christian denominations that has led to the closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity’s holiest sites, just ahead of the busy Easter season.
In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said a professional team was being established to negotiate with church officials to “formulate a solution.”
The mayor says his goal and role is to make sure people pay their taxes, he also said he has no negative or bad intentions towards the churches as that will be totally unfair. According to him
The churches say their properties are all used for church-related purposes that benefit pilgrims and their local flocks.
They also accuse Barkat of violating a longstanding status quo agreement and acting in an underhanded manner by not notifying them ahead of time about his plans. Church leaders say they learned of the new tax plan through the media.