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Knesset advances bill formally recognizing bereaved siblings of fallen soldiers

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

An Israeli soldier places flowers on the graves of fallen Israeli soldiers at the Mount Herzl military cemetery hours before the start of Memorial Day, in Jerusalem on April 20, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli soldier places flowers on the graves of fallen Israeli soldiers at the Mount Herzl military cemetery hours before the start of Memorial Day, in Jerusalem on April 20, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A bill to recognize bereaved military siblings passes its first reading in the Knesset after the coalition and opposition came to an agreement to allow its passage.

The bill will put siblings of Israel’s military fallen on par with other immediate family members in the eyes of the Defense Ministry, making them eligible for benefits and adding them to invite lists for memorial events. Siblings will now also receive official notices of death from military officials.

Only a month ago, the bill’s primary champion — New Hope MK Michal Shir — broke down in tears after being heckled by opposition MKs during the bill’s preliminary reading. Shortly before the vote on the bill, the opposition had declared its intention to oppose all coalition legislation, despite its ideological resonance, in order to pressure the government toward collapse.

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