FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2016 file photo, Moshe Gordon sits outside his guest house advertised on the Airbnb international home-sharing site, in the Nofei Prat settlement in the West Bank. On Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, Israel's Tourism Minister Yariv Levin threatened the vacation rental company Airbnb with higher taxes, restrictions and legal repercussions over its decision to remove listings from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

Israel steps up boycott fight after Airbnb settlement ban

November 20, 2018 - 1:04 pm

KFAR ADUMIM, West Bank (AP) — Israel is threatening vacation rental company Airbnb with high taxes and legal repercussions over its decision to remove listings from Jewish West Bank settlements.

The threats step up Israel's fight against a global movement advocating for boycotts over the country's treatment of the Palestinians.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin says Tuesday that Israel will seek to impose "very high taxes" on the company in order to restrict its operations in the country. He also says Israel will encourage hosts in settlements to sue the company to make it "pay" for its decision.

Airbnb's decision on Monday sparked outrage among Israeli officials and settler leaders, but was welcomed by Palestinian officials and human rights groups that had long pressured the company to end its contentious West Bank settlement listings.

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