Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

The Knesset Finance Committee is expected to discuss and approve on Monday a request by Finance Minister Yisrael Katz to amend a temporary order stipulating that international aid agencies in the Palestinian Authority would receive exemptions from taxes on fuel. This is a benefit that the Israeli charities and society do not receive.

In a letter sent by Minister Katz to Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni, the Minister requested that the Finance Committee approve a temporary order in the Value Added Tax Regulation, so that the exemption from VAT on fuel will be extended by about a year and a half, until the end of 2021, "in order to continue the purchase of fuel at a tax of zero by the international aid organizations.”

Palestinian Arab aid organizations are also exempt from an excise fee, which is about 49% of the cost of fuel. Along with the exemption from VAT, Palestinian Arab aid organizations also receive a discount of more than 60% compared to the price paid by Israeli corporate and charity organizations.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina), in a post on his Twitter account, attacked Minister Katz's request, declaring that he would come to the Finance Committee on Monday to "fight against this folly." Smotrich called on the coalition members to oppose the move as well.

The My Israel movement called the move "insensitivity on the part of the government" and said that "while Israeli charitable organizations which assist the Israeli population crash under the burden of the coronavirus, organizations that assist the Palestinians receive a 60 percent discount on the purchase of fuel in Israel. The Israeli government is showing insensitivity and selective discriminatory benefits toward Israeli charitable organizations, and gives free gifts to organizations whose usefulness is not at all clear.”

Join our official WhatsApp group