Israel: bill compensating Meron victims faces Knesset debate

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United Torah Judaism parliament member Yaakov Asher during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament on December 06, 2021.
Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90United Torah Judaism parliament member Yaakov Asher during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament on December 06, 2021.

'The financial aid should have been given a long time ago'

A Knesset committee pushed off a bill on Sunday offering compensation to the victims of the Mount Meron disaster amid a debate on how the matter should be resolved. 

Knesset member Ya'akov Asher of the United Torah Judaism Party presented a bill to compensate the victims' families and those injured during the Mount Meron disaster that left 45 people dead and more than 150 injured.

"The financial aid should have been given a long time ago," said Asher, according to The Times of Israel.

"Every day that passes is more distress and hardship for the families that have been waiting in vain for more than eight months."

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar said the matter should be resolved via government decision instead of legislation, The Times of Israel reported. 

"We can solve this not via legislation but via a government decision. I have handed a certain proposal to the finance minister that includes an outline for a solution," Sa'ar said. 

Sa'ar also stated he urged Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman to allocate funds for compensation as part of a cabinet decision.

However, the Finance Ministry said it would only discuss the matter once a state commission of inquiry into the incident submits its final findings. 

Sa'ar argued for Asher's bill to be pushed off by three months, stating, "this isn't a rejection of the issue, it's a rejection of the bill," The Times of Israel reported.

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