Liberman revamps benefits for demobilized soldiers

Defense Minister grants demobilized IDF soldiers immediate access to monetary benefits, ending 5-year waiting period.

Tzvi Lev ,

Liberman with IDF soldiers
Liberman with IDF soldiers
Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) has decided to revamp the IDF's policy regarding the benefits that demobilized IDF soldiers receive.

Currently, every IDF soldier receives both a large monetary grant and a deposit after he or she finishes mandatory service, with the amounts varying depending on how long a soldier served and whether he or she served in a combat unit.

While soldiers can access the grant immediately, the deposit is restricted in the first five years following demobilization for academic studies, driving lessons, marriage, buying an apartment and starting a business. Liberman said on Thursday that he will change the law to enable former soldiers to access their deposit immediately after finishing their service.

"This is a significant and important change," said Liberman. "There is no reason for the state to make it difficult for them in the first five years to access their deposit by restricting it to be used for certain purposes only - and not to allow them to use the money as they see fit."

"In recent years, I have met quite a few soldiers who have complained that they are limited in how they can use their deposit," Liberman continued. "If the state trusts them to protect the country, it can certainly rely on them when they come to getting the deposit money. This is an unnecessary restriction that we are removing, and IDF soldiers and soldiers will be able to use the deposit money for any purpose."

In the coming weeks, Liberman will present an amendment to the Demobilized Soldiers Law to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. The bill needs to be approved by the Knesset to become law.

Liberman also instructed the Defense Ministry to formulate a new plan regarding benefits that are allocated to reservists. Liberman said that the current framework makes it exceedingly difficult for Israelis doing reserve duty to access their benefits and promised to cut down on the bureaucracy.

"There are many blessed initiatives for soldiers but there was never an easy way to receive them," Liberman explained. "Therefore, we need to formulate a comprehensive plan that will express the deep appreciation we have for reservists, encourage them, and ensure a proper and honorable reward for their contribution to Israel's security".