TEL AVIV, Israel, August 30, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Thousands of Muslim families with small children from the Palestinian Authority and war-ravaged Arab nations across the Middle East have been resettled in Israel after fleeing to the country following conflict in their home states, thanks to an initiative backed by the philanthropic Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation.
The Tel Aviv-based foundation was established by mining magnate and French-Israeli citizen Beny Steinmetz, in 2006, with the primary focus to provide continuous assistance and support to Israeli and other children in need, as well as funding education and health for at-risk children. The foundation also focuses on promoting the world of culture and arts throughout Israel and is a major sponsor of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The initiative, carried out by the Meshi-Lema'anchem school and rehabilitation centre in the city of Bnei Brak east of Tel Aviv and by its branches in Jerusalem and around the country as well, is part of an integration programme that's primarily designed to help young children, but also their parents, to adapt to the various challenges of living in a new country.
Ongoing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories see occasional flare-ups of violence in one of the world's longest-running conflicts, the most recent of which erupted in early August. During three days of violence that began on August 5, 31 Palestinians were killed when Israel launched air strikes in Gaza and militant group Islamic Jihad fired rockets into southern Israel.
Further afield and the ongoing war in Syria is now in its 11th year and has claimed the lives of around half a million Syrian citizens, according to United Nations estimates, and forced an estimated 6.8 million Syrians to flee the country and seek asylum elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Yemeni Civil War, which started in 2014, continues with people still fleeing war-torn Iraq, long after the U.S. invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003, following the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States -- a figure that exceeds 260,000 people, according to UN 2019 data.
Apart from supporting Israeli children in need for many years, the Meshi-Lema'anchem centre also focuses on the development of Muslim refugee children, from newborns right up to young adults, providing financial and educational support in order to assist in their integration into society and mitigate challenges that might arise. Children's parents also receive assistance that helps to relieve some of the burden and challenges of living in a new country and the many difficulties they would otherwise encounter, including economic, cultural and language barriers.
The Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation has donated several million dollars to the centre over the past number of years.
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Source: Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation