NEW YORK (Feb. 2)
The number one target in Israel for intensified development, Lachish, a quarter million acre desert area in the northeastern Negev, has been settled during the past year by 18 villages and some 7,000 recent immigrants at a cost of more than $11,000,000, Dewey D. Stone, national chairman of the United Israel Appeal, disclosed in a report to its board of directors here today.
Work in this area was first launched a year ago when Mr. Stone, as newly-elected national chairman of the United Israel Appeal, announced the project in this country. “The colonization of the Lachish region,” Mr. Stone reported today, “is being carried out in accordance with a bold resettlement plan conceived by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. The plan calls for the “conquest” of this desolate area by an intensive farming program which will, at the same time, make possible the integration of growing numbers of North African immigrants.
Mr. Stone said that “most of the 7,000 people already in Lachish were from North Africa, especially from the remote regions of the Atlas Mountains where UIA agencies have helped to evacuate complete villages of Jews living a precarious existence because of the growing tensions in these trouble swept countries.” He added that current plans call for the settling of about 60,000 people in the Lachish region, half of them on farms and the balance in urban and regional centers. The United Israel Appeal is the principal beneficiary of the nationwide United Jewish Appeal campaign.