SLA Members get Nice Chanukah Present
Al Jazeera reports that
The Knesset adopted a new bill that grants the Israeli citizenship to members of the South Lebanese Army (SLA) who live in the Jewish state. The bill would grant citizenship to all members who served in SLA … It states that SLA members should be treated like IDF soldiers and that they should receive equal financial compensations and grants. Disabled SLA veterans will also be eligible for disability benefits.
The SLA was an ally of Israel in the War in Lebanon.
The SLA was made up of about 2,500 Christian, Shiite Muslim and Druse fighters. The group was formed in the late 1970s by the late Major Saad Haddad, who sought help from Israel as he battled Palestinian guerrillas. The SLA became allied with Israel in the 1980s, and Israel equipped and bankrolled the group during its 15-year occupation of Israel’s self-declared security zone in southern Lebanon.
After the Israeli pullout from South Lebanon in 2000, many members of the SLA and their families, fearing for their lives, were given sanctuary in Israel. Since then, some have worked in the West Bank and Gaza assisting the IDF in various operations and interrogations. This move by the Knesset fulfils a promise made by the Foreign Minister David Levy not to abandon the SLA.