Israel Cancels Plan to Evict Dozens of Holocaust Survivors After Haaretz Report

Forty-five Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans were set to be evicted after ministry decided to terminate its contract with the private company who owns assisted living housing units

Faina Schuster attends a resident meeting at a sheltered housing complex attend a meeting in Bnei Ayish, Israel, May 1, 2019.
Ilan Assayag

Israel announced Thursday it is canceling its plan to evict dozens of Holocaust survivors from their government-subsidized assisted living housing complex after reporting on the matter by Haaretz.

Seventy elderly men and women, including 45 Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans were set to be evicted from their assisted living complex after the Immigrant Absorption Ministry decided to terminate its contract with the private company who owns the housing units.

Following the report, Immigrant Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant's office said the decision was contrary to his instructions and that he ordered the plan to evict the residents stopped.

In 2009, a similar attempt was made to shut down the housing complex, which was prevented in part due to pressure from Knesset members and lawyers.

Initially, the ministry refused to answer the residents’ questions and didn't respond to either the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which has been helping the residents fight the decision -- or questions from Haaretz about the eviction issue.

In an earlier statement, the ministry said it was aware of the matter. “The units in the housing complex in Bnei Ayish are privately owned. The Immigrant Absorption Ministry is working to ensure that no immigrant living in the complex would remain without a roof over their head.”