The Finance Ministry announced Wednesday that was cancelling its plan to grant a tax exemption on fuel to government-recognized “international aid NGOs” operating in the Palestinian Authority.
The Finance Ministry’s announcement came following sharp criticism led by pro-Israel advocacy organizations including Im Tirtzu, Lavi, the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families and NGO Monitor, which accused the international NGOs of working against Israel and urged members of the Knesset Finance Committee to torpedo the motion.
The vote on the motion was set to be held on Monday, but was postponed after members of the Finance Committee echoed the concerns raised by the advocacy organizations.
On Wednesday the Finance Ministry announced that it was cancelling its plans altogether.
Included in the organizations that were set to receive the tax exemption are “Diakonia” and “Mennonite Central Committee,” which fund NGOs that support BDS and have ties to terrorist groups, and the “Lutheran World Federation” and the “Catholic Relief Services” that promote highly politicized anti-Israel rhetoric and projects.
“This was an anti-humanitarian act against the people of Israel,” said Likud MK Keti Shitrit, who was among the leading members of the Finance Committee to oppose the measure.
“If we are going to grant exemptions to these international ‘aid’ organizations, let them first provide us with information about the bodies of the kidnapped IDF soldiers and information about the Israeli citizens who are being held captive by Hamas.”
Likud MK Nir Barkat who also led the opposition to the measure, stated: “Organizations that support terrorism and work against the state will receive fines rather than rewards.”
Opposition MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) also criticized the measure and called on the government to “wake up and not give a hand to the war of anti-Semites against the State of Israel.”
Im Tirtzu praised “members of the Finance Committee and MK Keti Shitrit for their staunch work to cancel this tax break for anti-Israel NGOs.”
“It is unfathomable to help those who work day and night to harm Israel, and we will continue working hard to ensure that this never happens again,” Im Tirtzu concluded.