Knesset approves government subsidy for ZAKA

The Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee on Monday approved government funding for ZAKA, the voluntary victim identification and evacuation service. The funding will go toward ZAKA's activities in collecting bodies and body parts and transferring them to the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir. Committee chairman MK Moshe Sharoni said these functions should be supplied by the state, and that the subsidy would cover only some of the expenses of ZAKA, which has been put into temporary receivership and had management responsibility transferred out of the hands of its founder, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav to haredi newspaper publisher Dudi Zilbershlag. Meshi-Zahav told the committee that the cost of collecting each body and transferring it to Abu Kabir was NIS 700, and that 30 to 35 cases of unnatural death occur each week.