Norway pulls tax-exempt status from organization that provides financial support to settlements

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From the organization Norwegian People’s Aid:

Following advocacy-work and pressure from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (NUMGE), the Norwegian Ministry of Finance today announced their decision to exclude the Norwegian organisation “Karmel-instituttet” from the list of organisations that the Norwegian public may get tax deductions for providing funds to. The reason behind the decision is that the organisation provides financial support to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

– We are very pleased that the Ministry of Finance has made this decision, based on the fact that Karmel provides funds to the illegal Israeli settlements. The decision follows a letter sent by NPA and NUMGE in January this year, asking them to look into the issue’, says the Secretary-General of NPA, Liv Tørres.

The Ministry of Finance, in their press release today, writes that their intention is to ensure that the system of tax deductions does not benefit organisations that actively support or contribute to acts that are in contravention of international law. On the basis of information from the Karmel-institute about their transfer of financial support to Israeli settlements and the organisation’s own stated intention to continue providing such support, the Ministry of Finance has decided that gifts to the organization are no longer tax-deductible.

Commenting on the decision, Stein Guldbrandsen of NUMGE said: ‘Norwegian citizens who have provided financial support to Karmel-instituttet through the years must now contemplate that their support has constituted a contribution to breaches of international law’.

According to Norwegian People’s Aid , Karmel-instituttet has directed donations to the Israeli settlement of  for several years. Nearly half of the houses in Alonei Shilo (23 caravan-homes and 3 “study centers”) were paid for through funds donated by Norwegian citizens.

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