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Israel Cabinet Gets Slum-clearance Plan; 70,000 Families to Benefit

A slum-clearance plan that would benefit more than 70,000 families in Israel’s major cities, was presented to the Cabinet today by Housing Minister Joseph Almogi.

The plan, which the Cabinet decided to pass on for recommendations to the Ministerial Committee for Economic Affairs, was initiated in 1958 and in its present form envisages clearance and construction projects to be carried out by private enterprises. Under the plan, each family relocated would be given the choice of either renting or purchasing an apartment.

At the meeting today, the Cabinet also empowered Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir to finalize negotiations with the Soviet Government over the purchase by Israel of Russian holdings including the 15-acre Russian Compound on which the Supreme Court and other Israeli Government offices are located. The transaction does not include property belonging to the Russian Church.

The negotiations began in 1960 when the Soviet authorities submitted a list of properties which they claimed as heirs to the Czarist regime. This claim had never been recognized by the British Mandatory Government of Palestine. While no details have been officially disclosed, it is understood that the payment involves more than $4,000,000 to be made partly in cash and partly in commodities, chiefly citrus.

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