An eventual agreement between Israel and the Vatican over property taxes and property rights in no way will imply that the Vatican recognizes Israel's claims over East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a top Vatican official said.
Vatican and Israeli representatives are continuing their long-running negotiations over the legal and financial status of Catholic Church property in Israel, but the Vatican has excluded from the discussion property located in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, said Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, the Vatican undersecretary for relations with states.
Prior to the Vatican-Israeli commission's negotiating session June 12 at the Vatican, news reports from Israel and the Palestinian territories suggested that the Vatican would indirectly recognize Israeli control over the disputed territories by negotiating how Israel would tax church property, including in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which Israel annexed in 1967.
CNS STORY: Vatican says agreement will not recognize Israeli occupationWhile the Vatican-Israeli commission said June 12 that "significant progress was made toward the conclusion of an agreement," members said they would meet again in December in Israel.