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      Vatican: Parts of David?s Tomb to Be Under Papal Control

      An official Vatican newspaper has reported that during his upcoming visit to the Vatican, President Moshe Katsav will sign an agreement giving parts of David’s Tomb over to papal control.



      By Naomi Grossman
      First Publish: 10/20/2005, 1:21 PM / Last Update: 10/20/2005, 10:47 AM

      If such an agreement is signed, it will put an end to drawn out negotiations that began in 1998.

      Israeli and Vatican representatives began discussing issues of jurisdiction over certain sites around seven years ago. These sites include various buildings and parcels of land that the Catholic church claims it used to control.

      The church is now seeking to reclaim its ownership of these sites. Among the places under debate is an area that the church refers to as the site of the “last supper,” which is situated at the burial site of Kings David, Solomon, Rechavam, Assa, Chezekiyahu and Amatzia.

      The Vatican newspaper, El Messagero, reports that President Katsav is expected to sign an agreement during his visit that will give the church control over the upper part of David’s Tomb. The church has already shown Israel a trial agreement, according to which the Vatican will receive control over this part of David’s Tomb in exchange for the ancient synagogue in Toledo, Spain, which was converted into a church after the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

      In response to the newspaper’s report, an official from the Foreign Ministry states “Israel is not prepared to relinquish its jurisdiction over this area.” At the same time, they admit that a blueprint of a possible agreement with the Vatican has been received.