Tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors enduring poverty in Israel

Tel Aviv – At least a quarter of an approximate 250,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel were living below the poverty level, the Chairman of the International Association of Holocaust Survivors Noah Flug said Sunday.

Some estimates put the number at closer to a third of all survivors. In Israel the poverty line for a single person is approximately 2,000 shekels (486 dollars)a month.

Flug sad that the Israeli government and Germany were responsible for the poverty of the survivors. Most of them were borderline cases in bureaucratic terms which meant that they did not qualify for compensation or were only entitled to meagre amounts, he said.

Many had arrived in Israel from the former Soviet Union during the last 20 years.

In response to the report, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that it was Israel’s duty to ensure that anybody who had survived the horrors of the Holocaust could live out their lives in dignity in Israel.

Ceremonies to mark Holocaust Memorial Day were due to begin in Israel on Sunday evening.
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