First Transport of 1,066 Polish Jews Reaches Israel Direct from Gdynia on Panama Ship
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First Transport of 1,066 Polish Jews Reaches Israel Direct from Gdynia on Panama Ship

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A group of 1,066 Jewish immigrants from Poland landed at Haifa this week-end after making a rough, 13-day crossing aboard the Panamanian vessel Protea. The immigrants constitute the first group of Polish Jews sailing for Israel directly from the Polish port of Gdynia. Theirs was the longest non-stop trip made by any immigrants reaching Israel.

Most of the newcomers from Poland are of a younger age group than those who have been arriving here from other Eastern European countries. Although poorly dressed, they looked healthy. They reported that arrangements for their departure from Gdynia were carried out satisfactorily. Many of the immigrants were permitted to take food parcels with them.

Direct trips from Gdynia to Israel began when the Polish authorities reported a shortage of railway coaches to cope with the large numbers of Jews seeking to go to Israel via Italy. It is expected that 4,000 Polish Jews will leave Poland for Israel each month until February. The Protea has been chartered to carry four groups of 1,000 passengers each from Poland to Israel. The Israel transport, Artzah, with a capacity of 500 passengers, will also carry immigrants from Poland to the Jewish state.

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