Yariv Levin
Yariv LevinChaim Goldberg/Flash90

The Knesset has approved, in a second and third reading, the amendment to the law for legal assistance planned by Justice Minister Yariv Levin.

The law expands the legal assistance the Justice Ministry offers for Holocaust survivors to all civil fields.

The amendment will allow additional representation and council from the Justice Ministry to Holocaust survivors not only in exercising their rights for subsidies but to all fields in which Holocaust survivors might require legal assistance.

According to data published over the last year, Israel is currently home to 147,199 Holocaust survivors and people who suffered from antisemitism during the Holocaust, with an average age of 87.5 years; 462 of them are more than 100 years old.

The law has previously provided for the Justice Ministry to offer legal assistance to Holocaust survivors without any investigation of their financial eligibility, including before district courts and the Supreme Court, in matters related to their rights to subsidies.

Additionally, the Justice Ministry has also helped arrange for initial counsel and represented them against private lawyers regarding fees collected from the Holocaust survivors.

The new amendment allows Holocaust survivors to receive legal assistance in all fields offered by the Justice Ministry, including debt collections, wills and estates, ongoing powers of attorney, family law, public housing, and many other fields, with no investigation of their financial eligibility.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin commented: "The amendment to the legal assistance law, which will grant eligibility for legal aid without charge to Holocaust survivors and those who fought the Nazis, corrects a historic injustice. This is an important process, which will allow them to exercise their rights with greater ease, as they deserve. I thank the professional team in the Justice Ministry who worked so hard to draft this important law."

Itamar Donenfeld, Director General of the Justice Ministry, added: ‘’Expanding the legal assistance to Holocaust survivors and those who fought the Nazis in a variety of fields and without the need for investigation of financial eligibility will bring greater accessibility for them, giving them justice and a dignified life. The process took place as part of the Justice Ministry’s policy of making legal processes more accessible to special populations and removing the roadblocks for them, and in so doing making things easier for them where required. We must ensure that Holocaust survivors and those who fought the Nazis receive the best service and all of their rights.’’