Sheikh Wasef al-Bakri, the acting supreme judge in the Islamic Courts of Jerusalem, expressed support on Tuesday for the three churches (the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Roman Catholic) that have closed the city’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre for a third day.
On Tuesday, Bakri stood outside the closed doors of the church, which is one of Christianity’s most holy sites, and said Jerusalem was a city of prayer and peace and not city of commerce. He was referring to the municipality’s recent decision to tax church properties that are used for commerce.
The Islamic judge said that Jordan is the protector of Jerusalem’s holy sites and referenced Christian-Muslim solidarity. Churches, such as the Greek-Orthodox, supported Muslims during last summer’s protests against metal detectors
at the entrance to the Temple Mount, and the community leadership was coming together on the taxation issue, Bakri said.Hundreds of pilgrims
who had planned to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre instead prayed outside on Tuesday.