Israel withdraws plan to confiscate church land in Jerusalem

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 Israel on Monday withdrew a controversial plan to expand an Israeli park onto church-owned lands in the Olive Mount in occupied East Jerusalem.

In a statement, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said it had withdrawn the plan amid opposition from church leaders, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Last year, the authority started a campaign to expand the park onto the Olive Mount, an area that is home to Christian holy sites.

Earlier on Monday, church leaders in Jerusalem said they sent a letter to Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg to call for halting the confiscation of church-owned land in the Olive Mount.

Copies of the letter were also sent to the Consuls-General of Turkiye, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Sweden in Jerusalem.

The church leaders said the Olive Mount is one of the sacred places in Christianity, which hosts Christian holy sites visited by millions of Christians worldwide.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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