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Hariri Condemns Israeli Tax Bid on Worship Sites in Jerusalem · Feb 27, 07:23

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday tweeted in solidarity with Jerusalem and the Christian presence, lashing out at Israel’s recent taxation measures on churches and places of worship.

“Church of the Holy Sepulchre challenges Israeli measures. We stand in solidarity with Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, and with its people in protecting the presence of Christians in the holy city,” said Hariri via Twitter.

Israeli authorities aim to enforce tax collection on church property they consider commercial, saying exemptions only apply to places of worship or religious teaching.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem built at the traditional site of Jesus’s burial remained closed for a third day Tuesday as Christian leaders protested against Israeli tax measures and a controversial proposed law.

President Michel Aoun on Monday condemned Israel’s measures accusing it of “ethnic cleansing.”

Christian leaders closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday at noon in a rare move, leaving thousands of pilgrims and tourists seeking to visit what many see as the holiest site in Christianity locked outside.

Church officials say the church will be closed until further notice as they seek to pressure Israeli authorities to reverse their measures.

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