Contested Water Bill for Church to be Paid, Israel Today Says

A $2.3 million water bill for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will be paid for by the Israel government and Jerusalem’s municipality, Israel Today reported, citing an agreement by Israeli authorities.

The deal is designed to end about eight years of disagreement over the bill between the church and Jerusalem’s Gihon Water Co., established by the municipality to gain better control of water usage in the city. The church has now promised to pay its water bills going forward, Israel Today said.

Ma’ariv newspaper said the compromise deal reached by the church, Gihon and the Israeli government will see the church pay its water bill for 2012 while the Jerusalem municipality will cancel the debt from all previous years.

Gihon had taken legal action against church authoritiees and threatened to shut off water to it unless the bill issue was resolved.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Hackley in London at rhackley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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