Israel to probe foreign funding of human rights groups

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister says he intends to establish a parliamentary committee to investigate the funding Israeli NGOs receive from foreign governments.

Benjamin Netanyahu told a gathering of Christian journalists in Jerusalem that the committee will probe “organizations that operate against” Israeli soldiers.

Such committees mostly serve as a way to shed light on a pressing public issue and tend not to have much bite. Israel already has a law, passed last year, which increases the regulation of many Israeli human rights organizations who receive foreign funding.

But Netanyahu’s announcement Sunday highlights the hostility against those groups from Israeli hard-liners. It comes after Israel convicted an Israeli soldier this year for shooting to death a wounded Palestinian attacker. That incident was caught on video by a human rights group.

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