The Israeli government intends to compensate Jewish families, mostly from Yemen, who have lost their children in Israel’s formative years.
Known as the Yemenite children affair, the issue involves over 1,000 families, mostly immigrants from Yemen, but also dozens from the Balkans, North Africa, and other Middle Eastern countries.
The immigrants have alleged their children were kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and put up for adoption, sometimes abroad.
The official explanation is that the children died while under medical care, but many families do not believe this, insisting their children were taken away and put up for adoption.
The government on Monday approved a NIS 162 million (€41 million) compensation plan.
Under the terms of the plan, families will receive NIS 150,000 (€37,800) for each child whose death was made known to them at the time.
A sum of NIS 200,000 will be paid for each child whose fate is unknown.
The nonprofit Amram Association, one of the leading organizations helping the families, said in a statement that the government plan “is a sought-for step toward the families; however, it is only partial and does not provide a proper and comprehensive response to the case.”
The decision “is missing the most significant component in the process of taking responsibility — an official apology from the state,” Amram said.
It called on the government to find a more comprehensive solution, saying “many of the families did not approach the committees out of distrust of the establishment,” or for other reasons.
“The time has come that the families whose babies were taken from them receive recognition from the state and the Israeli government and also compensation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
He added that the compensation “will not atone for the terrible suffering the families have endured and are enduring.”