Israel investigates boycott leader for suspected tax fraud

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2017 7:17 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities say they are investigating a founder of an anti-Israel boycott movement for suspected tax evasion.

The Israel Tax Authority says Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian who holds Israeli residency, is suspected of evading taxes between 2007-2017 on $700,000 in income from managing a cash machine business, and on income from lectures around the world and royalties on a book.

Barghouti is a founder of the BDS movement advocating boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Supporters say BDS is a nonviolent movement for Palestinian independence, but Israel says it aims to delegitimize Israel.

Barghouti is to receive the Gandhi Peace Award at Yale University in April, but Israel has confiscated his passport for six months.

BDS leadership says the accusations are "fabrications" and that Israel is punishing Barghouti.