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Jewish Agency Official Denies Intention to Slow Down Immigration to Israel

Itzhak Raphael, chief of the immigration department of the Jewish Agency, today denied reports that the Agency had any intention of slowing down immigration to Israel.

He declared that the 250,000 quota for the current year will be fulfilled and possibly surpassed since the “emigration urge” is much greater in some countries than had been expected. He said that the absorptive crisis had already been overcome, with the immigrant camps in Israel soon to be emptied and made ready again to receive new arrivals.

Mr. Raphael reported that while the Jewish displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria and Italy are now almost emptied, and while immigration from much of Eastern Europe has been temporarily reduced, mass immigration was now beginning from North Africa. Large-scale emigration from Libya began yesterday, with 800 Jewish youths leaving for Israel on a chartered ship, he said, adding that expectations were that all Libyan Jews would go to Israel within a year.