Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will appoint a Welfare Minister in the coming days in reaction to the severe poverty report published yesterday saying one of every three children in Israel lives under the poverty line.
Based on the report, compiled annually by the Social Security Administration, there are 1,600,000 poor people living in Israel, which make up a quarter of the population. One of every four senior citizens is considered poor.
Sources estimate that Olmert will appoint current Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Jacob Edery (Kadima) for the job. Edery said he will be happy if the PM would give him the responsibility for this portfolio.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that “we should not pit Israel’s security needs against Israel’s social needs. We need to build our military power, and prepare the Israel Defense Forces for the next round. It is our obligation. Simultaneously, we need to rebuild the Israeli society. No one issue should come before the other. Israel has no choice but to raise both the social and defense flags together.”