As Israel’s defense establishment plays an increasingly important role in the nation’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Tuesday that it will take responsibility for the country’s elderly population, considered to be the highest-risk group for infection.

With the encouragement of Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, the military has decided to launch a national operation to ensure that the elderly population receives food, medical supplies and assistance in quarantine.

In a related development, Israel’s Social Equality Ministry is promoting a plan to compensate retirement-age workers who are out of a job due to the coronavirus shutdown but ineligible for unemployment benefits due to their age.

After the ministry was flooded with requests from retirement-age newly unemployed, the Treasury is now working on emergency measures that will provide relief to that demographic.

“We must provide an anchor for the elderly at this time, and not add financial pressure to their emotional stress,” said Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel.

Gamliel said that she would continue to keep tabs on the plan to allocate additional funds to retirement-age unemployed citizens.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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