Shuli Moalem-Refaeli
Shuli Moalem-Refaeli Hadas Parush/Flash90

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved on Sunday a bill proposed by Jewish Home Faction chairperson MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli under which a person's status as an IDF orphan will not expire after they reach the age of 21.

According to the current legal situation, a person is defined as an IDF orphan until he reaches the age of 21, except for certain situations in which the age is higher, in order to define eligibility for certain benefits, most of which are economic.

However, the linkage of the legal definition to the issue of economic benefits created a situation in which those who do not meet the legal criteria are not recognized by the state as an IDF orphan and accordingly excluded from events and ceremonies, which is not the case with IDF orphans under the age of 21 who are invited to participate in these events.

As a result, older orphans are excluded from the bereaved family. The bill proposed by MK Moalem-Refaeli was intended to correct this situation.

"Boys and girls who lose their father during his service in the IDF are orphans, and orphanhood never ends, not at age 21 and not at age 30 or 50. The legal situation today recognizes IDF orphans as orphans until the age of 21, and this is an injustice that must be corrected," Moalem-Refaeli said.

"IDF orphans are part of the bereaved family. They carry their loss at every stage of their lives. They choose a meaningful life, and their father's memory accompanies them in joy and hardship," said Moalem-Refaeli.