Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel

Welfare and Health

ASSAF regularly encounters the ramifications of the government’s policy toward asylum seekers in Israel. The first to be harmed by lack of welfare and health services are the populations with the greatest needs: survivors of torture, children, women, the disabled, and the sick. As part of our public advocacy work, we inform the public about the grim situation of these vulnerable populations; we operate vis-a-vis government authorities for a change in policy toward asylum seekers in general, and in particular regarding the vulnerable groups among them. 

Social Services

Asylum seekers do not have access to social services in Israel. The only exceptions are at-risk minors and female victims of domestic violence who are in emergency situations of immediate danger. The Ministry of Social Affairs does not have a body responsible for dealing with people who lack permanent legal status in Israel. No clear policy has been established regarding the services this population may receive. The consequences of the neglect of asylum seekers are evident first and foremost among the most vulnerable populations in this community: the victims of the torture camps in the Sinai, women, children, the sick, and the disabled.


Health Services
Asylum seekers are denied access to health care or medical treatment, except in emergency situations. In the absence of health services and preventive treatment, asylum seekers arrive at hospital emergency rooms when their condition is critical and requires urgent care. The National Health Insurance Law does not cover asylum seekers, and most of them are not insured privately. Therefore, hospitals are forced to absorb the costs of treatment and hospitalization and accumulate unpayable debts.