In an effort to gain closure for the Yemenite Children Affair, the Israeli government has approved a plan to compensate some 1,000 families whose children had disappeared following their arrival in Israel some 70 years ago. The government has expressed regret for the families’ suffering, but has stopped short of an apology. The Times of Israel reports (with thanks: Sarah, Stan):
Jews from Aden and Yemen awaiting their airlift to Israel in 1949
Under the terms of the plan, families will receive NIS 150,000 ($46,000) for each child whose death was made known to them at the time. A sum of NIS 200,000 ($61,000) will be paid for each child whose fate is unknown.
In total, the government will allocate NIS 162 million ($46,600,000) for the compensation plan.
Only families whose cases were already reviewed by one of the three state committees set up over the years to investigate the issue will be eligible to apply for compensation. Requests must be filed between June 1, 2021, and November 30, 2021.
A committee will be established to oversee distribution of the compensation money.
There are 1,050 families that qualify for compensation, according to the Ynet website. Receiving compensation will be dependent on a written commitment to not file any further lawsuits on the matter as well as to close and waive any existing legal action.
The proposal included a declaration that “the government of Israel regrets the events that happened in the early days of the state and recognizes the suffering of families whose children were part of this painful issue.”
“It is not in the power of a financial plan to provide a remedy to the suffering caused to families,” the declaration noted.
“However, the State of Israel hopes that it will be able to assist in the process of rehabilitation and healing of the social wound that this affair has created in Israeli society.”
The compensation plan came against the background of several lawsuits by families regarding the matter.