Effort to resolve Israel-Vatican conflict fails

Monday, December 14, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A delegation from Israel's Foreign Ministry that traveled to the Vatican last week returned after failing to resolve a 15-year conflict between Israel and the Catholic Church.

Israel was prepared to make concessions to the Vatican regarding taxation of church land in Israel and loose commitments not to expropriate church land. But the Catholics reportedly rejected the offer because Israel refused to surrender control of the traditional location of Jesus' Last Supper on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, as well as other Christian holy sites around the country.

The Vatican was also unhappy that Israel would not transfer absolute control of other church lands, which would have blocked Israel from ever seizing and using large portions of the country that have for centuries been in church hands.

The Vatican has refused to pay taxes on lands it does control for the past 15 years over Israel's refusal to meet its demands.

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