Amman The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Sunday condemned the Israeli occupation authorities' decisions on Jerusalem churches and properties as a violation of international law, demanding Israel to immediately reverse these decisions.
The Israeli authorities, which have recently imposed a property tax on churches worth up to millions of shekels, proposed imposition of municipal taxes on churches and a land appropriation law.
Jordanian Government Spokesman Mohammad Al-Momani reiterated the Kingdom's absolute rejection of Israeli authorities' systematic measures to change the historical and legal status quo in East Jerusalem's holy sites, including Islamic and Christian property and endowments.
Al-Momani noted that the Israeli measures violate international and humanitarian laws as well as arrangements of the historical situation that has been existing for many years. He affirmed that churches are always exempt from paying taxes to the existing civil authorities in the city.
The spokesman said these steps clearly target the historical Christian presence in Jerusalem, which is an essential part of the holy city's history and its historical, human, religious and civilizational heritage, and embodies the values of interfaith coexistence in its fullest form. He called on Israel "to immediately reverse the decisions taken against churches and to respect its obligations as an occupying power in East Jerusalem in accordance with international law.
Jerusalem's Christian leaders on Sunday decided to close the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem, in protest against Israel's tax policy and a proposed land appropriation law.
Source: International Islamic News Agency