Knesset moves forward with bill recognizing fiancés as family of fallen soldiers

The plan as being proposed could include monthly payments for two or three years following the death of a soldier.

By Troy O. Fritzhand, The Algemeiner

The Knesset, Israel’s parliamentary body, advanced a bill on Wednesday that would recognize the fiancés of IDF soldiers who were killed during the war as those who lost a spouse. The bill was introduced in the Labor and Welfare Committee by a bipartisan coalition of MKs Ofir Katz, Meirav Cohen, Israel Eichler, and others.

According to current Israeli law, family members of soldiers who fall in battle are entitled to rights such as monetary compensation and emotional support. This law did not include men or women engaged to a fallen soldier.

In a readout on the passing of its first reading, the Knesset spokesman wrote “According to the proposal, the engagements of couples who have already submitted an application for marriage registration will be automatically recognized. If no registration is made, the fiancee or fiance will be able to prove an intention to marry by meeting two of the conditions specified in the law, including a marriage proposal or an engagement party and provided that this was published and known to the family members and relatives of the couple, including digital documentation and publication on social networks.”

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The inclusion of the provision on social media caused opposition by lawyers of the Defense Ministry, one of which, Attorney Eran Yosef, who said “Marriage registration is an obvious thing. The same is true for an agreement to conduct a marriage with a date or purchase a residential apartment.

Another attorney, Nega Scheldhaus, added “It is important for us to create certainty, not because people lie, but because reality shows that there is always a gray area and the clearer the conditions are, the less heartache will be caused by rejection.”

The plan as being proposed could include monthly payments for two or three years following the death of a soldier.

A psychologist who specializes in loss of a spouse, Dr. Ofri Bar Nada, told the hearing “Social recognition is a very central issue in the ability of a friend or fiancé who has lost a spouse to cope.”