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August 5, 2014 11:23 am
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Israel Tax Chief: Gaza Operation Cost NIS 4.5 Billion So Far

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israel's 20 shekel bill. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israel's 20 shekel bill. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israel Tax Authority Director Moshe Asher said Operation Protective Edge is estimated to have cost Israel about NIS 4.5 billion ($1.3 billion) in terms of lost GDP, translating into a loss off NIS 1 billion in taxes, Israeli business daily Globes reported on Tuesday.

“Even before the fighting, we saw a slowdown in the economy and Operation Protective Edge is now added to this,” Asher said. “We have our finger on the pulse to see where the trend is leading. Direct damage is estimated at about NIS 50 million.”

Rather than immediate tax hikes, Asher said, “The compensation fund which finances compensation separately from the regular budget accrues about NIS 1 billion each year. At the moment it has NIS 5.5 billion. Direct damage will come from that fund. We have Iron Dome which kept the home front strong and saved us direct and indirect damage to the economy.”

Separately, Globes reported that the Israeli Association of Tourist Agents and Consultants estimates lay-offs of about 20 per cent, or 4,000 workers out of the tourism sector’s 20,000, because of the conflict. Currently, many firms have shortened worker hours in hopes business returns in the event of Israel reaching a successful, long-term cease-fire with Hamas.

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