Representatives from the Vatican and Israel have failed once again today to resolve a long-standing dispute over the Catholic Church's legal and tax status in the Holy Land.

They agreed to meet again in plenary session on 6 December in Israel following a 'working-level' meeting in late July.

A brief joint statement said that 'the plenary welcomed the progress accomplished by the 'working-level' commission and has agreed on the next steps towards conclusion of the agreement,'

The Holy See wants full juridical and financial recognition of the Catholic Church's institutions in Israel, including a blanket tax waiver that the Church enjoyed before Israel's founding in 1948.

A 1993 agreement enshrined a historic rapprochement between Israel and the Vatican.

In 1993 a joint commission was established to resolve the Church's financial and real estate issue, notably in territory occupied by the Jewish state after 1967.

The joint commission, which had been asked to complete its work within two years of the 1993 accord's signing, did not meet at all between 1994 and 2004.

The Church is claiming restitution of lost religious property including the Cenacle, believed to be the site of the Last Supper and King David's tomb.