Scene of Jaffa port stabbing spree
Scene of Jaffa port stabbing spreeTomer Neuberg/Flash 90

The Jewish Agency for Israel has announced that it will provide financial assistance to more than one hundred individuals and families affected by terror attacks since October, as well as to some twenty families who have lost loved ones in the attacks.

The aid, to be distributed by the Agency's Fund for Victims of Terror was made possible by contributions from The Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod-UIA, individual Jewish Federations, and individual donors, and will total approximately $1 million (NIS 4 million).

Any Israeli citizen or foreign national recognized by the government as a victim of terror will be eligible to receive Jewish Agency assistance.

The Fund for Victims of Terror operates in partnership with the Ministry of Defense and the National Insurance Institute.

The announcement comes on the heels of a renewed uptick in deadly Arab terrorism targeting Jewish Israelis, which appears timed to coincide with US Vice President Joe Biden's state visit to Israel.

Yesterday (Tuesday) a string of stabbing and shooting attacks in Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and Jaffa left an American tourist dead and more than a dozen other people injured, many of them seriously.

The violence has continued into Wednesday morning, with two shooting attacks in Jerusalem, in which an Arab Israeli was seriously wounded after being mistaken for a Jew, and two separate attempted stabbing attacks in Samaria.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said the compensation package as not only important from a strictly financial perspective, but provided Israelis with a well-needed show of solidarity from their Jewish brethren in the Diaspora.

"The support provided by Jewish communities around the world is not only financial in nature," Sharansky said. 

"This is an expression of Diaspora Jewry’s solidarity with the people of Israel, which is also manifested by the hundreds of thousands of Jews who visit Israel, the tens of thousands of Jewish young people who participate in Israel experience programs, and the record number of Jews who choose to immigrate to Israel – even now."

Victims of terror already receive compensation from the Israeli government, and will receive the Jewish Agency package on top of that.

Terror victims' plights extend far beyond the often painful, and costly, physical and psychological road to recovery. In many cases, victims are left partially or fully disabled and unable to work, and relatives of those murdered in attacks often lose not only a beloved family member but also their breadwinner.

Each affected family will receive financial assistance of up to NIS 25,000 (approximately $6,400), in addition to the Israeli government' own financial support to victims of terror.

Families who have lost loved ones in terror attacks and those physically or emotionally affected will be able to use the financial aid for rehabilitation, supplemental treatment, the purchase of medical equipment, personal empowerment, and other purposes.

The first ten families will receive financial assistance in the coming days, and altogether more than one hundred families are expected to receive Jewish Agency assistance.

In addition to the supplemental assistance, the fund offers emergency assistance of NIS 4,000 (approximately $1,000) to any family affected by terror in order to help them address immediate needs in the aftermath of an attack. Since the beginning of the current wave of terror, such assistance has been provided to approximately seventy families across Israel.