JERUSALEM – An Israeli court has ordered the Belgian consulate in Jerusalem to pay millions of dollars in back rent.
The Jerusalem court ruling says the consulate owes $3.5 million after renting a landmark building near the official residences of Israel's prime minister and president for 26 years.
The court's administration office said Tuesday the ruling was based on evidence that the building belongs to a private Israeli foundation that leased it to the consulate.
The Yediot Ahronot daily reported the ornate building was built by an Arab who fled Jerusalem during the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948. He later sold it to the foundation.
Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bart Ouvry said only that the ruling is being studied.