North communities to withhold taxes

"The Hizbullah abused us for a month, the gov't has abused us for three months."

damage katyusha 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
damage katyusha 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Northern communities decided on Sunday to withhold tax payments until they received compensation from the government, still owed them as a result of the war in the North this summer. Representatives of the communities of Margaliyot, Kfar Yuval, Avivim, Dovev, Zarit, Netua and Shtula said that they would intensify their strike and close down the education system if they were not compensated this week. "Hizbullah abused us for a month; but the property tax has been abusing us for three months already," said Eitan Davidi, head of the northern communities' forum. "The Israeli government has disconnected from us and is giving us the cold shoulder, and therefore we decided on these severe measures." Davidi added that the ministers were always saying how they were supporting the North, but instead of offering their "strength," they should bring money. Davidi pointed out that Hizbullah had already financed rebuilding the majority of the destroyed towns in southern Lebanon, but Israel had made no progress. Tax Authority representatives responded that the compensation issue was "complicated." The Authority said it was still collecting data necessary to handle the cases, but promised that by the end of the week, 80% of the farmers' cases would be addressed, and that by the end of the month, they would all be paid. Israel Radio reported that the Authority said it had already handled half of the compensation files it had received. The communities have also threatened to cut off their cooperation with commanders of the IDF in the North and not allow soldiers into their public buildings and their houses.