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  21th October 2014    Time 23:02 Jerusalem Israel Responsible for Settlers’ Assaults, says Palestine UN Mission      Settlers Continue Work on Two Illegal Settlements near Nablus      PEX Report: Index Continues Down Trend      Israel to Remove Tents, Animal Shed in Hebron      Israel is Transforming Jerusalem into Jewish city, says Ashrawi      Israel Denies Palestinians Construction Permits, Demolishes Homes in Jerusalem       Newspaper Review: Intensifying Israeli Attempts to Take Over East Jerusalem Focus of Dailies       Weather Forecast: Rise in Temperature       Proposed Bill to Divide Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims, Jews       Settlers Take Over Buildings in East Jerusalem Palestinian Neighborhood       Irish Singers Host Charity Concert in Support of Gaza      Nine Children Killed by Israeli Forces since Beginning of 2014      HHRD, UNRWA Contribute $50,000 in Support of Gaza      Industry’s Pessimism Declines as War Ends in Gaza       PEX Report: Index Down Again
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Clergy says Crisis over Church Water Bill could Trigger Conflict

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JERUSALEM, November 3, 2012 (WAFA) – Father Issa Musleh, spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Saturday warned that an attempt by Israel to change the status quo regarding churches in East Jerusalem could trigger an international conflict.

Speaking to WAFA, Musleh said that the Greek Orthodox Church threatened to close the doors of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem if the Israeli water supply company, Gihon, insists on freezing the Church’s bank account because of unpaid water bills.

Gihon got a court order to freeze the account of the Greek Orthodox Church claiming the Church did not pay $2.3 million in supposedly overdue water bills.

The Church says there is a decades-old status quo agreement that allows it not to pay water bills.

Musleh charged that the employees of the water supplier company deal with the Church in inappropriate manner.

“If they want to cut water off then we will ask the pilgrims and visitors to bring their own water with them and we will explain to them what is happening so that they would know about the Israeli arbitrary policies being practiced against the holy places,” he said.

In 2004, Gihon violated the agreement adopted since 1969 which excludes the Church of Holy Sepulcher from paying the water bill, he said.

Musleh warned that closing the Church will only escalate the situation leading to an international conflict.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III said that maintaining the status quo that helped protect the Church of Holy Sepulcher for decades is crucial.

M.H./M.S.

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