Elkin Denies Kever Dovid Deal With Vatican

YERUSHALAYIM -

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin denied on Wednesday a report that the government is planning to transfer the Kever Dovid Compound on Har Tzion to the Vatican.

Elkin made his remarks in response to a parliamentary query submitted by United Torah Judaism MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. Elkin said that the Foreign Ministry had not signed any agreement and had no intention of signing an agreement to relinquish sovereignty over any part of Kever Dovid.

He added that there is a long-standing economic agreement between the Vatican and Israel. This agreement relates to taxation, arnona (property tax), and property claims by the Vatican. In this context, discussion arose regarding a room of importance to the church, but the Foreign Ministry, already in the last government, stood firm that the place would not be transferred to the Vatican, in any form.

Elkin added that he didn’t know of any proposal to make such a transfer in exchange for lands surrounding the Kinneret that are owned by the Church.