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Jewish Agency Plans to Resettle 10,000 Immigrant Families on Land in Coming Year

The Jewish Agency plans to resettle some 10,000 refugee families on the land in the coming year, Levi Eshkol, head of the agency settlement division, today told newsmen.

Mr. Eshkol said that the facilities for this gigantic resettlement project would be provided by the Keren Hayesod. At the same time, Israel Ritov, chairman of the Keren Hayesod of Israel, said that his organization plans a 1,000,000-pound ($2,800,000) fund-raising drive in this country this year.

The Agency official also announced plans for the laying of new waterlines in the Negev and the completion within three months of the eastern Negev water system which will bring millions of cubic metres of water annually to existing and new colonies in the desert region. He said that only 18,000,000 cubic metres of water were supplied to the Negev last year and that within two or three years 200,000,000 cubic metres will be available and will permit the cultivation of some 400,000 dunams (100,000 acres) of wasteland. These sources, plus the harnessed waters of the Yarkon River, will provide enough water not only for the Negev but also for the settlements along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, he reported.

In a resume of the Agency’s activities during the past year, Mr. Eshkol stated that it had spent 30,000,000 pounds for resettlement and immigration activities, 12,000,000 of which was supplied by the Keren Hayesod. There are still 8,000 immigrants in reception camps who must be resettled, he pointed out, and the Agency anticipates from 150,000 to 200,000 new arrivals in the Jewish year 5710. About 20,000 of these are expected to come from Poland alone.

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