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July 12, 2016

Israeli Lawmakers Tighten Rules on Foreign-Funded Nonprofits

Israel’s parliament approved a measure Monday that requires nonprofit groups that get more than half of their financing from governments or political organizations abroad to publicize that fact, the Associated Press reports.

Under the law, such groups must state in communications with public officials, the media, and online materials that they rely on foreign financing. The measure, approved by a 57-48 vote, has engendered fierce debate since it was proposed 13 months ago by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Critics say the restrictions are aimed at human-rights groups that advocate for the Palestinian population and support a peace agreement. Robert Ilatov, a legislator from the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party who co-sponsored the bill, said it is needed because foreign “intervention in Israel’s internal affairs is not acceptable.”