Photo: Reproduction
Binyamin Kahane. Left behind 6 kids
Photo: Reproduction

Terror orphans' foster parents to get benefits

'Unclear why it took Welfare Ministry so long to provide response to orphans' plight,' says MK

The Welfare and Social Services Ministry announced Sunday it would compensate foster families of orphans whose parents were killed in terror attacks, after a lengthy battle.


The amount of money transferred to each of the families will depend on the foster parents' salaries, the number of children and their ages.


Though legislation regulating the compensation passed more than two years ago, it took the ministry until Sunday to announce its implementation. But sources say the battle is not yet over – the plan still requires the approval of the Finance Ministry and the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee.


"The suggested regulations will repay the moral debt Israeli society owes to those who have taken upon themselves the difficult task of caring for and educating these orphans in the best possible way," said Welfare and Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon.


MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), who proposed the bill, told Ynet, "I commend the Welfare Ministry and Minister Moshe Kahlon on the termination of the procedure, but I have severe criticism on how long it took. It's unclear why it took the Welfare Ministry and the National Insurance Institute so long to provide an answer to the orphans' plight."


'Not over yet'

Meanwhile, the leaders of the battle for special benefits told Ynet they hoped the new regulations would give them more room to breathe.


David Bloch and his wife Raya are raising the six children of Binyamin and Talia Kahane, who were killed in a terror attack near Ofra 12 years ago, in addition to their own three kids. "We left home, and I had to leave my position," says Bloch, who was a commander in the Nahal Haredi.


"My wife had to leave her business as well, and nobody made amends for this. The law takes care of the orphans, but the families are not entitled to anything. Thus, we were left without livelihood but the expenses, naturally, only grew."


Bloch adds that the children were deeply traumatized, making life even more difficult for the family. "Mostly these are families with many children and there are also those who sustain trauma. In any family that gets involved in such a situation, usually at least one breadwinner must leave his job," he explains.


Benny and Hila Libskin took in Hila's teenage brother and sister after her parents were killed in a terror attack on Kissufim road – and just a month after giving birth to a baby girl. Their world was afterwards forever changed.


"We immediately moved into (the parents') house in Jerusalem with a month-old infant, and from then on everything changed," says Benny. He adds that he started the battle for benefits from the state "mostly for those who cannot do so, because I know what they're going through".


"We commend the minister who took this task upon himself, and did everything he could as quickly as possible in order to resolve this issue after two and a half years of battle," Benny added.


Bloch also thanked the minister, but added that the battle was not yet over. "We are once bitten, twice shy and await the approval of the Knesset committee. It's not over yet," he said.


Omri Efraim contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 05.23.11, 16:06
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