The Cabinet this morning approved draft legislation on the absorption of discharged soldiers, which would grant benefits to discharged soldiers in order to encourage them to study at institutions of higher learning in the periphery (the Negev, the Galilee, Judea and Samaria). 

The legislation provides one free academic year to any discharged soldier who studies at an institution of higher learning in the aforesaid areas.  It would also grant benefits to soldiers who live in the Negev and the Galilee, in order to encourage them to pursue higher education. 

The decision is one of a series of decisions and steps designed to compensate officers and soldiers, reservists and active duty personnel, who bear a major portion of the burden of regular duty, training and operational activity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the legislative process in the Knesset must be completed as quickly as possible in order to encourage young people to pursue an academic education and successfully integrate afterwards into the labor market.  "This is the least we can do to provide for those who guard our security day and night, especially now when we are obliged to unite around them.  The need to aid discharged soldiers and promote the periphery is part of the national consensus.  The Government will meet its commitments to the voters and will give preference to those who bear the main portion of the burden of military service for our security."

Deputy Minister for the Advancement of Youth, Students and Women in the Prime Minister’s Office Gila Gamliel also praised the decision.