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Lydda Airport Opened to Civilian Planes; “austerity Measures” Announced by Economy Head

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Lydda airport was opened today to civilian traffic. The field has not been used by non-military craft since the outbreak of fighting more than half-a-year ago.

Communications Minister David Remez, speaking at ceremonies marking the opening of the airport, declared that “we have returned to Lydda–this time as the rightful owners.” The airport stretches over 500 acres and has the latest technical equipment. At present, Lydda airport can handle 60 planes daily.

“Despite British efforts to cut off Israel’s air contact with the world,” Remez asserted, “we succeeded in resuming air communications via Haifa. More than 2,000 planes have landed in Israel since May 15, of which 1,200 arrived in Haifa with 12,000 passengers.

“Haifa is no longer able to cope with this traffic, especially since immigrants will in the future also be arriving by air. Therefore, the government decided to repair the badly-damaged airport at Lydda and the first planes will be landing here today, including one from Germany. Lydda is the most important airport on route to New York, Eire and Singapore and is more important and better than Cairo’s field,” he said.

Immigration Minister Moshe Shapiro announced at the ceremonies that 2,000 DP’s will arrive from Europe at Lydda next month. Israel-bound Jews from the British protectorate of Aden will also arrive by air soon, he revealed.

S.S. Hoofein, newly-appointed Israeli economic coordinator, announced today that “austerity measures” were being adopted in Israel. “We cannot fight a war to bring in immigrants and build up the country without reducing our present highest standards of living,” he asserted.

Hoofein and Dr. Fritz Bernstein, Minister of Trade and Industry, issued a joint statement declaring that profiteers in Israel will be heavily punished. At the same time that the government embarks on its austerity program, Hoofein said, it is also promoting an increase in industrial and agricultural production.

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