Residents affected by fires to receive 2,500 shekels

Kahlon announces that residents who lost their homes in fires will receive an initial compensation of 2,500 shekels per person.

Elad Benari ,

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Saturday night held a joint emergency meeting in Haifa of the Finance Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office, the Haifa Municipality, the Interior Ministry, Defense Ministry and the National Emergency Authority to assess the situation following the wave of fires that have hit Israel in the last week.

At the meeting it was decided that residents, in Haifa and elsewhere in Israel, who are not able to return to their homes which were extensively damaged in the fires, will receive an initial compensation from the state of 2,500 shekels per person. In other words, a family of four will receive 10,000 shekels in initial compensation intended for an adjustment period. Those who were affected by the fires must contact their local authority to receive the sum.

"I ask all concerned to act according to the highest sensitivity scale. The people who will turn to you have been through a difficult ordeal. Assisting those who were affected by the fires is not an easy task but we must do it professionally and as quickly as possible,” Kahlon said.

“It is our duty to these good citizens, from whom we know how to collect taxes during the year - now they need us. Do not let them drown in paperwork, do not send them from ministry to ministry, do not drive them crazy. Do it in the most considerate manner. They need to rebuild their lives together with us. We will accompany each and every one, step by step,” continued the Finance Minister.

Specifically with regards to Haifa, where 85,000 citizens were forced to evacuate their homes and hundreds of houses were damaged, Kahlon said, “Following the information that some of the fires were caused by arson, we decided to launch a property tax fund that will work to help the affected citizens. Appraisers, engineers and all the required professionals will work with the Haifa Municipality to assess the damage and provide the necessary solutions. The Ministry of Finance and the government of Israel will be here alongside the citizens who were affected when the smoke dissipates. The heads of the Treasury will meet here in Haifa this week to assess the situation.

“A personal representative on my behalf will be here and deal with any issues that require treatment by professionals. Each resident has an unsolved problem, we will be here for him,” he promised.