The Knesset approved the Absorption of Discharged Soldiers Bill (Amendment #14) (Increasing benefits) 2012, proposed by Moshe (Mutz) Matalon (Yisrael Beitenu).

According to the Amendment, the payments made to a soldier at the end of his mandatory service, will increase gradually starting January 2012 until 2016.

At the end of this process, the payment made to a front of the line soldier who served 36 months will be 20,000 NIS. Beneficial payments to other soldiers will also increase, Front Line Supporting soldiers will receive 16,668 NIS (6,120 before the amendment) other soldiers in service will receive 13,320 NIS (4,896 before the amendment) and people in the Civil Service will receive 6,600 (2,446 before the amendment).

During the debate prior to the reading in the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee led by MK Haim Katz (Likud) Lt. Col. Husien Husiesi head of the Planning, Salary and Pensions Dept. and Gal Cohen (Adv.) Legal Counsel to the Ministry of Defense requested to postpone the approval by 2 months saying: “We are in the midst of examining the issue of benefits and payments to all soldiers and we would like to examine the issue of discharge payments alongside the rest of the information being gathered”.

MK Haim Katz announced that since the decision was approved and coordinated with the various Government Offices, there is no reason to postpone the voting which was approved.

8 MKs approved the Amendment which passed with no objections, the Bill will now move back to the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee in order to prepare it for the Second and Third Readings.