Israel has deferred discussion on a bill that would allow the state to seize church grounds that have been sold to private developers.
Under pressure from church leaders, the Israeli government on Sunday held a debate on the controversial bill. The Israeli churches have repeatedly obstructed the legislation, claiming that it could allow Israel to reveal valuable property.
Bill's sponsor, lawmaker Rachel Azaria, says that church leaders have misinterpreted the bill. She says she attempts to protect thousands of residents living in buildings built on leasehold church grounds.
Azaria says residents can face huge price discounts or even turn out by private developers when their leases expire in the next decades. The uncertainty has caused property values to drum.
Azaria says she hopes to reach a settlement with churches in the coming weeks.