Scene of terror attack in Berlin, Dec. 12, 16.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Knesset on Wednesday passed in preliminary reading an amendment to the Benefits for Victims of Hostilities Law (5730 – 1970) that would allow Israelis who were wounded or died in a terrorist attack abroad to be recognized by the state and be entitled to compensation.
The legislation that was initiated by MK Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) and coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud) passed 39-0.
Under the bill, a committee would be established to examine the cases of Israelis who were wounded or killed in terrorist attacks abroad and recognize them as victims, even if the attack was not aimed specifically against Israeli citizens or the Jewish people.
Currently, an attack is only recognized under the Benefits for Victims of Hostilities Law if it is aimed against Israel, if its secondary aim is against Israel or if it is aimed against the Jewish people.
The explanatory notes of the bill addresses recent terrorist attacks abroad in which Israeli citizens were killed but which were not aimed specifically against Israeli or Jewish targets.
“In recent years we witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of terrorist attacks around the world that are being carried by global terrorist organizations that try with all means to harm what they can, including Jews in general and Israeli citizens specifically,” the notes say. “Unfortunately, although the attacks were not aimed against Israeli or Jewish targets, more than once Israeli citizens were injured or killed in them. In recent months we have seen such incidents, such as [when] Layan Nasser [from Tira, who was among the 39 slain] in the [New Year’s Eve] shooting attack in Istanbul, and Dalia Elyakim [from Herzliya, who was among the 12 slain on December 19] in the ramming attack in Berlin.”
Jelin said that the bill is set to fix the injustice in the current law. “The recent wave of terrorism in Europe highlighted the growth of global terrorism... What about the citizens who unfortunately happened to be in the place that was hit by ISIS?” Jelin asked. “The current law does not have an answer to that.
“The bereaved families are not fighting for money but for recognition,” Jelin added. “We should act in order to prevent a situation in which traumatized families are left on their own because of bureaucracy. These are families who need the state in their time of distress, and that is why we are here.”