The Knesset plenum on Monday passed in second and third reading a bill to amend the Income Tax Act, by which those who donate to settlements will enjoy tax benefits.
The initiator of the bill, Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud), said that it aims to make amends for the lack of legislation that supports the settlement enterprise, although the government declared it as a top national priority.
"Organizations that wish to construct new mosques – like the Islamic Movement or other charity groups that funnel money to Hamas – receive tax breaks, while organizations that want to settle the Negev and Galilee fall between the chairs," he said.
"The bill," MK Elkin explained, "wishes to make amends for this injustice." According to the bill, donors will receive a tax credit of up to 35% of the donation, in accordance with the tax ceiling stipulated in the Income Tax Act.
The vote was carried by 33 votes in favor and 13 votes opposed. The opposition, along with several Kadima members voted against the bill, claiming it would perpetuate the current situation in the West Bank.
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