Disabled continue protest, block highway over monthly stipend

There are currently some 238,000 Israelis who have disabilities. Of these, some 195,000 are classified as being 100% disabled.

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September 5, 2017 01:28
1 minute read.
Disabled continue protest, block highway over monthly stipend

MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) speaks during a recent protest calling for an increase in disability benefits. . (photo credit: ANAT VARDIMON)

 
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Members of the disabled community blocked roadways on Highway 2 Monday morning to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement to allocate NIS 4 billion toward the monthly allowances of people with disabilities over the course of four years.

Blocking southbound roads at HaSira Interchange on Highway 2 near Herzliya at around 9 a.m., members of the disabled community, in conjunction with NGO A Disabled Person is Not a Half Person, continued their protest against the monthly allowance that has remained stagnate at NIS 2,342 for the past 16 years.

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Following Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu announced that after the High Holy Days, he intends “to bring to the government, together with the minister of finance, a dramatic offer to improve the situation of the disabled in Israel.” Members of the disabled community panned the idea and called for immediate and comprehensive action.

Meretz MK Ilan Gilon said on Sunday that this was “a continuation of the policy of throwing sand in the eyes of the public. We are fed up with the empty promises and declarations without coverage. After 16 years, it is time to raise the allocation of the disabled.”

Netanyahu proposed to raise the monthly disability benefit to NIS 3,200 – just above the poverty line, which is currently at NIS 3,154 – while for the severely disabled it was increased to NIS 4,000.

There are currently some 238,000 Israelis who have disabilities. Of these, some 195,000 are classified as being 100% disabled and rely solely on their monthly allowance to make ends meet.

Alex Friedman, co-chief executive officer of A Disabled Person is not a Half Person, said on Monday that with “the High Holy Days approaching, the disabled will remain hungry this year too. This cannot continue.”

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