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Minister Denies David's Tomb Vatican Handover

Public Security Minister informs Knesset there will be no change in status quo at holy site.
By Shimon Cohen
First Publish: 5/18/2014, 8:07 PM

Prayer at David's Tomb.
Prayer at David's Tomb.
Flash 90

The government has officially informed the Knesset that there will be no change in the status quo at David's Tomb in Jerusalem.

Members of the Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environment Committee received a missive Sunday from the committee chair, MK Miri Regev (Likud-Beytenu), which included a copy of a letter she received from Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich.

"According to an update that I received from the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office, there is no intention to change the existing status quo at the the David's Tomb Compound and the Last Supper Hall, and this is also true as regards prayer times and everything that involves,” wrote Aharonovich.

"There is no intention of handing over any part of the said compound to the Vatican,” he added.

Aharonovich tied between the reports regarding plans to make concessions to the Vatican, and the upcoming visit to Israel by Pope Francis. He asked Regev to postpone the committee's discussion of the subject, which was planned for Monday, to a later date, since such a debate might stir up “radical elements that seek mostly to disrupt and interfere with the visit” by the pope. Regev complied and announced that the session has been cancelled.

Arutz Sheva recently reported plans to dramatically increase the number of days on which Christian services are held at the compound – from one day per year to 60.

Earlier reports that parts of the compound would be handed over to the Vatican were denied by the Chief Sephardic Rabbi and Israel's Ambassador to the Vatican.