The Chernobyl reactor

Israel to grant benefits to Israelis who helped avert the Chernobyl disaster

Yisrael Beiteinu-authored bill seeks to hike annual stipend Israeli 'Chernobyl liquidators' receive from NIS 4,775 to NIS 7,000, and grant them increased housing and health care benefits

Gad Lior |
Published: 05.23.22, 22:51
Israel approved Monday for a second and third reading of the bill that would grant significant benefits and aid to Israelis who helped stabilize the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in 1986.
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  • The bill - which was tabled by the Yisrael Beiteinu party and approved by the Labor and Welfare Committee -- seeks to increase the annual stipend Israeli “Chernobyl liquidators” receive from NIS 4,775 to NIS 7,000, as well as grant them increased housing and health care benefits.
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    הכור בצ'רנוביל
    הכור בצ'רנוביל
    The Chernobyl reactor
    (Photo: AP)
    According to committee chair and Labor MK Efrat Rayten-Marom, the stipend increase will be awarded retrospectively - from the beginning of 2022 - pending Knesset approval.
    Yisrael Beiteinu MK Evgeny Sova -- who co-authored the bill -- explained that there are 1,400 Israelis who took part in averting the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukrainian SSR, and that all of them suffer from a variety of health problems, which often prevent them from receiving life insurance necessary for a housing loan.
    To that end, the bill seeks to oblige insurance companies to insure the liquidators for the purpose of a housing loan, subject to regulations to be established by the Aliyah and Integration Minister.
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    הכור האטומי בצ'רנוביל
    הכור האטומי בצ'רנוביל
    (Photo: EPA)
    Dr. Vadim Khasdan, the chair of the Chernobyl Disaster liquidators Union, added that the second and third generations of those exposed to radiation in Chernobyl are considered eligible for assistance in CIS countries -- such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia -- while in Israel none of them receive any such benefits.
    The bill further called on the country to amend the situation "as a way to express the gratitude and appreciation of the State of Israel to the liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster for their heroism and contribution to saving humanity."
    The Chernobyl disaster occurred on April 26, 1986 in the territory of the former Soviet Union near the town of Pripyat, and is considered one of the worst nuclear disasters in human history.
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