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News Brief

  11/20/2013, Kislev 17, 5774

Concern Vatican May Take Over Part of Mount Zion


There are growing concerns that a sensitive religious site on Mount Zion, may be relinquished to Vatican control. Rabbi Eldad Shmueli, a local Jerusalem activist voiced his concerns to Arutz Sheva news on Wednesday, stating that there has been an increase in Christian tourist traffic and expensive additions to the area. He suspected that preparations may be made for the future visits of Pope Francis scheduled for March. He also alleged a mezuzah was stolen from a doorway. Other rabbis, connected to the Diaspora Yeshiva have expressed similar concerns. Over the years there has been many attempts by non-Jewish elements to purchase the property.

King David's Tomb is located just outside the walls of the Old City in the Mount Zion area. The specific area in question is referred to by Christians as the Last Supper Room, a small room on the second floor of a larger area that houses the King David's Tomb prayer space, the Diaspora Yeshiva, Israel's first Holocaust Museum, the President's room and other historic sites. A special Shavuot celebration is held at the adjacent open field every year.

In July, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) on Wednesday dismissed recent reports that Israel is planning to hand over control of the Tomb of King David to the Vatican.