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Rights of Victims of Hostile Actions and Their Families

Rights of Victims of Hostile Actions and Their Families

Many civilians and their families were harmed by the Hamas terror attack on October 7, 2023, and the ensuing Operation Swords of Iron, directly and/or indirectly, including physical and/or psychological injuries and/or property damage.


The victims require medical care and considerable assistance, which the National Insurance Institute provides pursuant to the Victims of Hostile Actions (Benefits) Law.


Scope of Benefits


The scope of the benefits and assistance to civilian victims of hostile actions is the same as the support that military casualties receive.


Pursuant to the Victims of Hostile Actions (Benefits) Law, one of the criteria for eligibility is that the Ministry of Defense recognize the action in question as a hostile action. Considering the current circumstances, it is indisputable the Ministry of Defense will recognize the events of October 7 and onward as hostile actions.


Another criterion is that the victim be a resident of Israel, although other populations are also entitled to coverage. In essence, any victim who was lawfully staying in Israel is covered, as are Israelis injured abroad by actions recognized as hostile actions. 


In most instances, the National Insurance Institute initiates contact with the victims and their families shortly after the event occurs. If not, victims and families may file a claim by approaching the NII branch closest to their place of residence. It is also possible to  contact the emergency hotline, opened especially for this purpose. Those suffering from anxiety may approach directly the dedicated centers opened to assist residents in need, without having to file a claim.


Components of the Benefits and Assistance


ŸIf the injury happened during the course of work, or if the injury occurred while an employee was on route to or from the workplace, the employee is also entitled to a work injury allowance as an alternative track.


ŸThe coverage for work injuries falls under an alternative track. In other words, the injured party or his or her family must choose the track they prefer. The default insurance falls under the Victims of Hostile Actions (Benefits) Law, which will apply if the injured person does not choose the track he or she prefers.


ŸFamily members remaining at the bedside of a victim of a hostile action are entitled to immediate assistance and support. Such assistance includes lodgings near the hospital where the victim is hospitalized, as well as an allowance for food, travel, parking, and lodging expenses, subject to the fulfillment of particular criteria.


ŸAssistance to family members includes reimbursement of travel expenses, as well as assistance to those suffering from psychological trauma as a result of exposure to victims’ injuries, including anxiety and other mental health repercussions. This is all according to the severity of the injury and subject to a limit on the number of beneficiary family members.


The assistance includes compensation for damages to victims’ property as a result of a hostile action and for property restoration.


In the event a victim has died, the NII will cover all of the victim’s burial, mourning, and memorial expenses, including the purchase of a burial plot, bereaved family members’ transportation from abroad, transportation to the cemetery, funeral expenses, and more.


Common-law couples and married couples are entitled to a widowhood grant and a mourning grant. Parents are eligible for a mourning grant.


In the event that members of the victim’s immediate family reside abroad, the NII takes care of the flights from abroad to attend the funeral and funds the family’s lodging expenses in Israel.




Adv. Amos E. Rosenzweig, an of counsel at Barnea Jaffa Lande and head of the firm’s National Insurance practice, is at your service to answer any questions in this regard.