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Reports: Netanyahu shelves NGOs financing bill after international criticism

May 29, 2023 at 3:20 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on May 1, 2023 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has frozen a controversial bill aimed at curbing the activities of non-profit civil and human rights organisations following significant criticism from the United States and prominent European countries.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday that the bill will not be put to a vote before the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs as planned on Sunday, but will be put up for discussion as a largely symbolic measure.

The proposed bill seeks to impose a 65 per cent tax on funding received by organisations and associations from foreign governments.

The German Foreign Ministry has strongly criticised the draft bill, warning that its passing would harm relations with Israel.

The US administration and other Western countries have also criticised it, warning against harming civil society organisations.

Israel’s Ynet news site also indicated that British Foreign Minister James Cleverly has called his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, and demanded that he refrain from passing the bill.

READ: Israel to impose 65% tax on human rights groups critical of the occupation state