The reason given for the fee, paid to the Chevra Kaddisha (Burial Society) of Rishon Lezion, is that the Chazanis - homeless since the Gaza expulsion - are not residents of the municipality and hence not entitled to burial services of the city.

Chezi Chazani (pictured above courtesy of was a leader in the struggle against the recent expulsion from Gaza and northern Samaria.

Chazani’s family wanted him to be laid to rest in Rishon Lezion, where the graves of his parents and grandparents are located. However, the local Chevra Kaddisha informed the family members that because they are not local residents they would have to pay. The family explained how difficult this would be because, since their expulsion from Netzer Chazani, they are living in temporary accommodation in Chispin in the Golan Heights.

According to reports in Yediot Acharonot, the director of the Chevra Kaddisha in Rishon Lezion started to bargain with the family. Chazani’s son told the paper that “they started at [NIS] 12,000, went up to 20,000 and settled for 30,000.” He added that, “the rabbi only agreed to the burial once the check was in his hand.”

The Chevra Kaddisha in Rishon Lezion have denied that this story is true. “It is insolence on the part of the family to make such claims. They didn’t have to pay. The state is paying for it. The deceased wasn’t a resident of Rishon Lezion and he doesn’t need to be buried here,” stated a spokesman.

According to the report, when Minister Matan Vilnai heard the story he intervened and has promised that the Prime Minister’s Office would reimburse the family for the expense.