Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon approves a stipend of 2,500 shekels ($650) per person for those who have fled the raging fires nationwide over the past five days and could not return to their homes either because they were destroyed or are uninhabitable at this point.
The Finance Ministry held an emergency meeting Saturday night with officials from the city of Haifa, where massive fires on Thursday forced the evacuation of some 60,000 people. Most were allowed to return Friday, but close to 2,000 homes have been damaged, of which 500 have been deemed uninhabitable, according to authorities.
“We will stand by our residents even after the smoke clears,” Kahlon says, adding that he gave instructions to officials to “be clear, be generous, and don’t let them [those affected] drown in paperwork or be passed around from representative to representative.”
“It’s not an easy task to assess the damage but it is our duty to help residents rebuild their lives,” he says.