In a surprise move, Israel's delegation has cancelled its March 29 meeting with the Vatican that was to have been held in Rome to work out a "comprehensive agreement" on all tax and property matters affecting the Catholic Church in Israel. The Vatican wants a reconfirmation of the historic tax exemptions that it possessed at the time that Israel creation in 1948, and the return of certain Church properties. It also wants assurances that property disputes will be heard by Israeli courts. Asia News reports that there had been high expectations for the meeting, which would have been the first Plenary Session of the Israel-Holy See Permanent Bilateral Commission in five years. (See prior related posting.)
UPDATE: Israel's ambassador to the Vatican said that the postponement of the Commission meeting was merely for technical reasons and that a new meeting date would be set soon. (CNS).