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One-fifth of Israeli seniors forgo winter heating

A tougher economy means cold homes for the poor.

An elderly woman in Jerusalem, Feb. 3, 2010. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90.
An elderly woman in Jerusalem, Feb. 3, 2010. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90.

One in five Israeli seniors is living without proper home heating due to financial constraints, a phenomenon exacerbated by the Hamas war’s effects on the economy, a survey released on Sunday finds.

The findings of the Geocartography survey prompted the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to allocate an additional 10 million shekels ($2.76 million) of funding to help 27,000 households across Israel. 

The seniors most heavily impacted economically by the war, now in its fifth month, were those between the ages of 65 and 69, 23% of whom said the war had forced them to adjust or limit spending as a result of the current financial climate. 

Seniors in the Israeli Arab sector were especially hard hit financially in the wake of the Hamas attack, the polling found.

“Every winter presents major challenges for Israel’s elderly, but there is no doubt the war in Israel has caused greater financial constraints on this already vulnerable community,” said IFCJ President Yael Eckstein.

“With the help of our hundreds of thousands of friends and supporters around the world, the Fellowship is blessed to increase our ongoing support of Israel’s elderly, through practical and financial assistance to help them during these challenging winter months,” she said.

The survey, which was conducted in mid-January among 400 Israelis aged 65 and up, had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

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