Israeli peace activists are planning to ratchet up their campaign against groups in the United States that raise money for settlers by highlighting how tax exemptions are helping to fund the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Gush Shalom, a small peace group that advocates Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories, is preparing to send details to the US tax authorities questioning the charitable status of several organisations.
Adam Keller, a spokesman, said these operations’ tax-exempt status meant that “settlement expansion is effectively being subsidised out of the pockets of the US taxpayer and government”.
The campaign is designed to increase pressure on Barack Obama, the US president, to demand action from Israel on his repeated calls — so far largely ignored — to end settlement building. Last week, Israel announced plans to build 455 new homes in West Bank settlements and 500 apartments in East Jerusalem.