Israeli political parties owe the Knesset a total of more than NIS 167 million ($47 million) for unreturned election campaign loans, and that figure will soon rise further, according to an investigation by The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site, Zman Yisrael.
The investigation finds that as of June 21, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud has the biggest debt, at some NIS 50 million ($14 million). Benny Gantz’s Blue and White has the biggest debt relative to its size: NIS 18.5 million (over $5 million).
Both those parties, along with Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope, exceed the legal limit on debts for this kind of loan.
In the case of many parties, the debts originate in loans taken before election campaigns held as far back as 2015.
As new elections are underway, the debts are expected to grow further as several parties have already filed requests for new loans.