Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has reportedly taken steps to strip Amnesty International of its tax benefits in Israel, barring Israeli donors from receiving tax deductions from their donations to the international human rights organization owing to its calls to boycott Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, Israeli media reported on Saturday. According to Israeli media, Miki Zohar, a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, from the right-wing Likud party wrote a letter to Kahlon in which he accused Amnesty International of working to “persecute and slander IDF soldiers.”
“Amnesty supports illegal infiltrators and draft refusers, and works with all its might to harm the State of Israel,” he reportedly wrote. He then went on to request that the finance minister use the anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) bill passed in March — which banned foreigners who have openly expressed support for BDS from entering the country — in order to “immediately revoke Israel’s recognition of donations to Amnesty, since it is an organization which encourages others to boycott all or part of Israel.”
In June, Amnesty International announced that it was launching a campaign to convince the international community to implement a full boycott of illegal Israeli settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory. Slamming Israel’s “virtually total impunity” for its war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since 1967, Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty called on foreign states to impose an “international ban on settlement products, a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel and Palestinian armed groups,” as well as full investigations by the International Criminal Court into crimes committed as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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