Aug. 19, 2007 0:39 | Updated Aug. 19, 2007 15:46
Needy survivors to get NIS 1,000 a month

8,500 Israeli Holocaust survivors who have not been receiving state assistance will now get a monthly stipend of some 1,000 shekels, according to a draft agreement between survivor and government representatives, Army Radio reported Sunday.

In addition, survivors who are eligible for income subsidies and get only 270 euros a month will now receive additional aid of several thousand shekels a year.

The reported deal comes after a week of negotiations between Holocaust survivor groups and the Prime Minister’s Office.

“An injustice has been fixed,” said Uri Hanoch, one the survivors’ representatives.

“We have reached satisfactory results at this stage with a lot of good will shown by both sides,” he added, stressing, “we are dealing with many groups of survivors.”

As part of the deal, state funding for the Holocaust Survivors Welfare Fund will be increased fivefold. In two years, the organization will be allocated 200 million shekels.

However, the draft deal does not refer to 80,000 Israelis who fled Eastern Europe during the Second World War. Government representatives formulated a proposal whereby each refugee would receive 500 shekels monthly but the Prime Minister’s Office opted to leave the decision to Olmert.

“It is a group that has been deprived by the government and now the government has an opportunity to correct this,” said Welfare and Social Services Ministry director-general Nahum Itzkovich.