Jerusalem: The Church of the Holy Sepulcher reopened Wednesday morning
The Israeli government suspended the collection of taxes as well as the examination of a bill of law against which the churches rebelled.

Since Sunday, thousands of visitors who wanted to go to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem had found the doors closed. But pilgrims or tourists can again gather and visit places since Wednesday at 4am , announced the Christian authorities.

After three days of struggle, the municipality and the Israeli government have reviewed their copies. The leaders of the Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Catholic Churches, who share the guard of this place considered the holiest of Christianity in Jerusalem, had Sunday closed the church built on the alleged premises of the crucifixion and the tomb of Christ. They announced the reopening Tuesday night. "We thank God for the communique issued earlier by the Prime Minister and express our gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly to preserve the Christian presence in Jerusalem," commented the churches.

The latter denounced the recent decision of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem to make them pay taxes on part of their real estate. Taxes would not have covered places of worship such as the Holy Sepulcher, but the goods that generate income, rents for example.

The arrears were quantified by the city council to some 150 million euros. The churches also protested against a bill that would have allowed the Israeli state to expropriate land sold by the Orthodox Church to private investors.

The Israeli government announced in a statement on Tuesday the suspension of the collection of taxes as well as the examination of the bill.

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