The Knesset Finance Committee on Sunday approved a one-time, NIS 200,000 grant for some orphans whose lost both of their parents in terrorist attacks. The total budget allocated for the grant is NIS 16 million.
The monthly stipend for Israeli orphans whose two parents were killed in terror attacks was increased in the beginning of the millennium, but the 40 orphans who lost both of their parents in the period between the establishment of the state and the beginning of the millennium were not entitled to this increase and received a very low stipend. Now, due to the demand of all the members of the Finance Ministry, from both the coalition and opposition, the Treasury will grant them the one-time NIS 200,000 grant.
As of 2001, orphans whose two parents were killed in terror attacks have been receiving a NIS 8,000 monthly stipend, while those who were orphaned prior to that time received a maximum monthly amount of NIS 4,000. The grant, which will be given within 60 days after the law goes into effect, narrows the gaps between the groups of orphans.
Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said the current situation in which some orphans receive lower stipends ”because of dates” was a ”disgrace” to the State of Israel and its book of laws.
The Treasury initially agreed to set aside NIS 7 million for the grants, but on Thursday night an irate Gafni suspended deliberations on the issue and agreed to renew them only after the Treasury agreed to allocate NIS 16 million.
Representing the orphans, Dani Bushkevitz thanked the committee for correcting ”a terrible injustice” and said ”for years we were excluded from the legislation and we were forced to fight to fix this unjustified discrimination, despite what we had gone through.”