World Media

Israel backtracks on plans to tax churches in Jerusalem

Israel backtracks on plans to tax churches in Jerusalem

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.

Barkat said his decision affected only commercial properties, such as hotels, restaurants and offices, and not houses of worship.

The denomination leaders call Israel's actions a "systemic campaign of abuse" against Palestinian Christians and churches now reaching its peak with this "discriminatory and racist bill". "This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe", it says.

The protest led an Israeli cabinet committee to delay for a week its consideration of the bill to allow expropriation of land sold by churches to real estate firms and foreign companies.

These sales actively pave the way for new waves of Israeli settlement in Jerusalem.

Russian operatives compromised election systems in seven states in 2016
Justice Department's recent charges that 13 Russians had tried to interfere with the 2016 election. Federal officials said late Tuesday that NBC's report was "factually inaccurate and misleading".

"The team will negotiate with the representatives of the churches to resolve the issue", it said. Barkat also said that the government collects the same taxes from other business owners in the area, regardless of their religion.

All legislative activity regarding the sale of Churches' land was also suspended.

Churches are major landowners in Jerusalem.

A key Palestinian religious leader is warning that there will be war if the United States follows through on its announced plan to open an embassy in Jerusalem, which Washington now formally recognizes as Israel's capital.

The UN Security Council Resolution 242 in 1967 demands Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 including Jerusalem, while Resolution 478 in 1980 rejects Israel's attempted annexation of Jerusalem and its declaration of the city as its capital.

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The police have not officially released the name of the suspect, though it has been widely reported in the Japanese news media. Two days later, police found a severed head in a suitcase in another room that Bayraktar had rented in Osaka's Nishinari Ward.

The threat, according to Palestinian Media Watch, comes from Sheik Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem. He said the church - just like other sacred sites in the city - is exempt from municipal property taxes and that won't change.

In November, Patriarch Theophilos conducted an worldwide tour on which he met politicians and church leaders, in an attempt to raise the alarm about the Bill of Church Lands and various court cases.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest places in Christianity. New neighbourhoods were built on plots leased from the churches, which are still the city's largest private landowners.

Banners reading: "Enough is Enough - Stop the Persecution of Churches" were also unfurled near the church, built on the traditional sites of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection.

People are weirded out by this interview with New Zealand's Prime Minister
I thought they were so much fun, such a breath of fresh air. Maybe she had lost all sensitivity, Ms Ardern joked. Not that we need to get into those details".


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