Monday, 19 July 2010

US government's tax breaks funding illegal West Bank settlements

So the US is an honest broker in the Middle East while at the same time giving tax breaks to organisations funding settler expansionism on the West Bank, and of course arming Israel to the teeth? Go figure.
US tax deductions on West Bank settlements fund illegal activity and support "extremists and terrorists," the Palestinian Authority media center said Thursday [8 July].

“While the Palestinian people work hard to build a secure, independent state, these organizations are getting a tax break for funding settlers who steal our land and water, desecrate our places of worship, and terrorize our communities and our children,” said Ghassan Khatib, the center's chief.

“Not only does it undercut our efforts to build a democracy, it’s unfair to the American taxpayer who would like to see that money go to improve education, fund health care, or create jobs in the U.S.”

According to a recent report in the US daily The New York Times, the US Treasury lost taxes on $200 million over the past decade, due to tax breaks given to organizations that fund extremist Jewish settler groups in the West Bank. At least one of the groups has ties to a terrorist organization, the report read.

Two crossings temporarily opened as EU pressures Israel to do more

Israel has opened the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and A-Montar crossings as the EU's defacto foreign minister, Catherine Ashton, calls for further restrictions to be lifted.
"There needs to be an opening of the crossings for both people and goods to flow in both directions," she said at a joint news conference with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, ahead of her Gaza visit. more
Much of the traffic will include aid delivered to Al-Arish in Egypt by Libyan aid ship Hope.
Local sources said that the Israeli authorities will allow the entry of vans loaded with food aid. The vans were delivered to Al-Arish via Hope ship. The aid will be entered via Abu Salem crossing to the blockaded Strip from Al-Arish were the aid were unloaded. more