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EU upset over Israeli bid to scan NGO funds

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(STRASBOURG) - The European Union, the world's leading donor to Palestinians, on Wednesday railed against a draft Israeli law to force NGOs to detail all funds donated by foreign governments.

"We are following with extreme concern the debate in the Knesset over this draft legislation to oblige Israeli NGOs to make public any funds received from foreign governments," said Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele.

"We have made our concern clear on several occasions to the Israeli government," said Fuele during question time at the European parliament.

He added however that the current draft had been softened since a first passage through the Knesset last month.

"We believe the demand for transparency from the NGOs remains too demanding," he said.

"The new criteria for transparency solely concerns public finance, which would be discriminatory vis-a-vis those working with public funds, notably those from the EU."

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