jobseekers 88 248.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry has issued a tender for the
establishment of an employment and training center for South Lebanon
Army veterans. It hopes to provide job opportunities and raise the
standard of living for Israel's former allies.
"The aim of the center is help former SLA soldiers to join the
labor force and attain economic independence," said Benny Pfefferman,
head of the research and economics division at the Industry, Trade and
Labor Ministry. "The training and employment center will be a onestop
center concentrating various services under one roof."
SLA veterans face obstacles that make it difficult to integrate
into Israeli society, he said. The aim of the center is to help them
and their families, especially women, the disabled and the elderly. It
also will help them with housing problems through financing assistance
for rentals, Pfefferman said.
The deadline for the receipt of tenders is the beginning of this March.
The South Lebanon Army, a Christian militia, was allied with
Israel from 1982-2000 in its fight against Hizbullah and other armed
groups. When Israel pulled its forces out of Lebanon in May 2000, the
lives of SLA fighters and their families were endangered due to their
cooperation with Israel.
Some of them moved to Israel, while others relocated to other
countries. Upon arriving in Israel, many of the families encountered
various hardships, including high unemployment and poor living
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For years, SLA veterans have felt they have been neglected and
are frustrated over government promises to help them. In 2002, the
government decided to split the care of SLA veterans between the
Defense Ministry and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry.
In 2006, the Knesset Finance Committee approved the payment of
NIS 40,000 per family to SLA veterans, expressing the state's
appreciation for their service to Israel.
Today, 2,541 SLA veterans and their family members live in
Israel. The community consists of 670 households, out of which 469, or
70 percent, are under the care of the Immigration Absorption Ministry.
Seventy-five percent (1,213) of SLA veterans and their family
members live in the vicinity of Netanya (476), Kiryat Shmona (262),
Tiberias (217), Ma'alot-Tarshiha ( 139) and Haifa (119). About 150 SLA
families are being helped by the social welfare system.
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