The Defense Ministry has recognized six Israelis killed or injured in recent attacks abroad as state victims of terror following a legislation amendment recently approved by a Knesset committee.
They are Shmuel Benalal, killed in Mali in November 2015; Chaim Winternitz and Mendy Farkash, injured in Brussels in March 2016; Dalia Elyakim, killed in Berlin in December 2016 and her husband Rami who was injured in the attack; and Lian Zaher Nasser, killed in January 2017 in Istanbul.
Israeli victims who die or are injured in terror attacks either within Israel or abroad are considered “victims of hostilities” by the state, under a law drafted in 1970. Those injured receive special benefits from Israel’s tax authority and compensation from Israel’s social security, as do the families of those who are killed. But the terror attacks must specifically target Israelis for the victims to be eligible for the benefits.
After the amendment approved on March 21, the law would apply to those injured or killed outside of Israel in terror attacks if the group behind the attack states that one of its objectives is to harm Israel, citizens of Israel or Jews, even if the purpose of the specific attack was not directed at Israelis or Jews.
The law change applies retroactively to those injured or killed since April 1, 2012.
Benalal was 60 at the time of an attack which killed 27 people on November 20, 2015. Terrorists stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako and laid siege to the luxury hotel for some nine hours. Thirteen foreign nationals were among the dead, including several Russians, three Chinese, two Belgians, an American and a Senegalese.
Ultra-Orthodox brothers-in-law Winternitz and Farkash were waiting to board a flight in Brussels on March 22, 2016 when they were injured in a double attack in which 32 people were killed and 340 were injured in twin bombings at the airport and at a metro station.
Dalia Elyakim of Herzliya was one of 12 people killed on December 19, 2016 when an alleged Islamic State terrorist plowed a truck into the Berlin market. Her husband was wounded in the attack.
Nineteen-year-old Nasser from the Arab Israeli city of Tira was killed in a shooting attack on New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2016 in the exclusive Reina nightclub in Istanbul. A total of 39 people, including many foreigners, were killed in the assault.
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