Belgium declines Israeli teens’ aid request after parents killed in museum attack


(JTA) — Belgium has turned down a request for financial assistance from the daughters of an Israeli couple killed in a 2014 attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Shira and Ayelet Riva were 15 and 17 at the time of the attack.

Mira and Emmanuel Riva were on vacation and touring the museum in May when Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman who French authorities believe left for Syria via Belgium to fight with jihadists in 2012 before returning to Europe, opened fire on museum visitors and staff.

Along with the Rivas, a French volunteer at the museum and a Belgian employee were killed in the attack.

The Riva teens, who live in Tel Aviv, filed an application for the assistance 10 months after the attack. They applied for the usual allocation of 15,000 euros, or about $17,000, which is generally provided without question, according to French-language news reports.

The commission that decides on assistance for victims of intentional acts of violence refused to grant the allocation, saying there was no “urgent need.” Urgent need is defined as a request in the first six months following an attack.

The teens’ attorney said since the girls were not Belgian citizens, it was more difficult to file the request and took longer.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels occurred in 2015.

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