Sana'a, the capital of Yemen
Sana'a, the capital of Yemen iStock

The government will on Monday approve a subsidy for the families of Yemenite children, who lost their loved ones in the 1950s.

The government’s statement reads, "The Israeli government expresses its sorrow over the events that took place in the early days of the state and acknowledges the suffering of the families whose children were part of this painful affair. The government hopes it can alleviate the pain of families who have suffered for so many years and have been waiting for their value to be recognized.”

Families whose children died but have not been given information about their death in real time - including information about the cause of death - will receive NIS 150,000 from the state as a lump sum. Families whose children's fate is unknown - will receive NIS 200,000.

The subsidy will be for families whose children were discussed by one of the committees set up for the subject - and which determined that the child died or that there is no finding that indicates his fate. Families who have not applied so far will not be entitled to compensation.

The application can be submitted from June 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021. If there are several children from the same family, the lump sum will be given for each child and therefore the amounts each family will receive can be higher. The total amount that the government will budget for the project is NIS 162 million.

"The receipt of the monetary amount for each member of the family will be conditional on the delivery of his written undertaking to waive and dismiss any monetary claim in this matter," the government stressed.

The decision comes following a lawsuit against the state by Yemenite immigrant families to reopen the files on this matter. The document also states that "the affair of the children of Yemenite, Eastern and Balkan immigrants is a painful affair in the history of the State of Israel. The issue continues to accompany the public agenda for decades and is an open wound in Israeli society."

"It is not in the power of a financial outline whatsoever to remedy to the suffering caused to families," the government admitted. "However, the State of Israel hopes that it will assist in the process of rehabilitation and healing of the social wound that this affair has created in Israeli society."

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