National Insurance Institute
National Insurance InstituteFlash 90

A Jewish mother of 11 who was accidentally shot by IDF soldiers is now facing a new crisis following a decision on the part of the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) to slash her benefits.

Carmela Traboulsi was badly wounded 18 months ago when soldiers opened fire on a car full of Israeli passengers after the driver failed to heed signals to stop.

The shooting killed Rabbi Dan Mertzbach.

Traboulsi suffered a serious leg injury. From being a successful early childhood educator and a working mother, she became handicapped and heavily restricted in terms of movement.

Despite her ongoing disability, the National Insurance Institute decided three months ago to strip her of the benefits she had been receiving, including physical therapy treatments.

“I go to countless therapies for my legs and shoulders, it’s hard for me to walk,” Traboulsi told Arutz Sheva. The treatments helped: “I was in a wheelchair, and now I have just a cane.”

“In the beginning the state cared for me, they sent me household help, someone to help with cooking, a national service volunteer, they gave me a salary,” she recalled. “But slowly, they’ve taken it all away.”

“They’re telling me that I’m not hurt and I should go work, but I can barely work… The director of the unit at Hadassah Hospital explicitly determined that I need daily physiotherapy, and suddenly they decide I don’t need treatment,” she said.

Her husband Pinchas believes that the decision to strip Carmela of her benefits may have been motivated by racism. When the couple stood before the National Insurance Institute board, “There was an Arab doctor there, and he didn’t do any tests. He saw two settlers and decided to take revenge, he decided to reduce her level of disability,” he accused.

“We’ve been without income for three months,” he added.

Carmela Traboulsi said, “They told me that after work accidents, an income supplement is given for a maximum of three months. Is this considered a work accident?”

The National Insurance Institute has not yet responded to Arutz Sheva’s request for an explanation.