Tuesday August 16, 2022

Israel approves allowance for South Lebanon Army veterans

June 27, 2022

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: Israel on Sunday approved housing allowances for South Lebanon Army (SLA) veterans residing in the Jewish state, providing "historic justice" to former members of the Christian-led militia, officials said.

The decision, passed by the government, would see some 400 former SLA fighters who did not hold commanding ranks receiving a one-off grant of 550,000 shekels (around $161,000) towards buying a home over the next four years, the Israeli army said in a statement.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz said he was "proud" of the approval, hailing it as "historic justice to those who fought shoulder to shoulder with us, and were uprooted from their homes and homeland."

The army said the grant provides "a solution for the housing shortage of around 400 families that were not properly accommodated upon their arrival in Israel," noting the assistance would be given to SLA widows too, "provided that they reside in Israel".

The SLA was formed in 1976 as a splinter from the Lebanese army, whose ranks were divided a year after the start of the civil war. Initially it was called the Free Lebanon Army.