Libyan Jews to get Holocaust benefits

Finance Ministry to allocate NIS 110 million in benefits to Jews from Libya; benefit payments will be made retroactively from April.

September 14, 2010 23:28
1 minute read.
numbers on an arm

holocaust hand 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

Jews from Libya who were persecuted during the Holocaust will receive compensation benefits, the government announced Tuesday.

The Finance Ministry will allocate NIS 110 million in benefits to Jews from Libya, the government said. The plan was coordinated with the Authority for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors.

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“We have taken an important decision to help the elderly population of Holocaust survivors who were in Libya during World War II,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday. “We decided it was appropriate to allocate benefits without processing an in-depth eligibility examination for every application case individually, which would have created heavy bureaucratic red tape and caused a lot of aggravation for benefit claimants.”

A Tel Aviv court in April said Libyan Jews were exposed to Nazi persecution during WWII and therefore had a valid claim to compensation benefits.

According to the Authority for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors, there are currently 5,000 Jews from Libya eligible for benefits. Benefit payments will be made retroactively from April, the government said.

The entitlement includes a fixed monthly benefit payment of a minimum of NIS 1,822 and other benefits such as convalescence pay, subsidized medicines and exemption of license fees for television.

Ofra Ross, executive director of the Authority for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors, said the authority would help Libyan Jews just as other claimants.

“We are witnessing a historic correction to a large segment of Holocaust survivors who have not received any compensation for the great sorrow they experienced during the Nazi regime,” Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen said Tuesday.

Last month, Steinitz signed a directive entitling 30,000 needy Holocaust survivors to receive a 50 percent discount on their monthly electricity bills for up to 400 kilowatts per hour.

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