An Ethiopian priest walks inside the Holy Sepulchre church, one of the holiest place for Christians, in the Old City of Jerusalem, on February 9, 2018. / AFP / THOMAS COEX
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A tax dispute between Israeli authorities in occupied Jerusalem and major churches in the Holy Land heated up Thursday with church officials deciding to boycott a high-profile event.The dispute follows a surprise decision by Israeli officials in Jerusalem to begin collecting property taxes from Christian institutions.The churches' decision not to take part in a New Year reception set for Thursday evening and hosted by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was "unprecedented," according to Father David Grenier, a top Franciscan official for the Holy Land.Bank accounts for a number of churches had been frozen, church officials said, but no other move had yet been taken by the city.
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