Israel approves more benefits for survivors

Israel’s Cabinet approved a plan for an annual increase of $290 million in benefits for the country’s Holocaust survivors.

The approval came April 27 on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah.

The Knesset must approve the plan when the parliament returns from its spring recess on May 12.

Israel’s finance minister, Yair Lapid, who initiated the legislation, said in a statement posted on his Facebook page that the legislation will be fast-tracked so that “the survivors don’t have to wait, because we don’t have time to wait. We need to help them now.”

Under the plan, survivors will receive a full refund on medicines, larger grants deposited directly to their bank accounts and free psychological services. Destitute survivors would receive additional grants.

“We have a moral obligation to see to it that Holocaust survivors living among us can live out their lives honorably,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said April 27 before the weekly Cabinet meeting. — jta