The government of Israel has postponed discussion on a bill that would allow the state to seize church lands that have been sold to private developers.
According to the Times of Israel, the decision came on Sunday after intense pressure from church leaders.
Israel’s churches have repeatedly blocked the legislation, claiming it could allow the country to expropriate valuable properties.
The bill’s sponsor, lawmaker Rachel Azaria, says church leaders have misinterpreted the bill.
Azaria says residents could face massive price hikes or even eviction from private developers when their leases expire in the coming decades. The uncertainty has caused property values to plummet.
According to her, she hopes to reach a settlement with religious leaders in the coming weeks.
The churches own large swathes of land in some of Jerusalem’s best neighborhoods, with much of it on long-term leases.
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