By RUTH EGLASH
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Social welfare groups and activists working on behalf of the elderly population welcomed the publication Monday of a 60-page document aimed at alleviating the economic hardships faced by more than a quarter of Israel’s 260,000 Holocaust survivors.

The plan was compiled by an interministerial committee headed by Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog. It was created following a public outcry last month over the plight of survivors who receive no government benefits and live below the poverty line, forced to chose on a daily basis between medicine or food.

“The battle we have been fighting is finally drawing results,” Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, chairman of social action party Tafnit and founding president of the Sderot Conference for Society, told The Jerusalem Post. “We have forced the government to take a serious look at the problem and draft a comprehensive plan on how to help.”

Last month, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Dayan and hundreds of others participated in an alternative ceremony. They marched from the Knesset to Yad Vashem to raise awareness about survivors who still need help.

“There should not be first-class and second-class survivors,” said Nathan Lavon, director of the pensioners’ rights group Ken Lazaken. He said Herzog’s plan broadened the definition of who is a Holocaust survivor, a subject that has fallen under much debate in recent years.

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