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Israel Govt. Dissolves Study Group Surveying Welfare Payments

The head of an academic study group which has been surveying Israel’s levels of welfare payments charged here today that the Government’s Ministry of Social Welfare does not pay enough in welfare to Jewish immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, by its limitations on the official “welfare line.”

The accusation was voiced by Dr. Israel Katz, director of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at Hebrew University, who has been heading a committee studying the “welfare line” for three and a half years. He said the Government has now officially dissolved his committee but that the study would be continued and would be finished soon.

According to Dr. Katz, an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 Israelis live on standards “below the poverty line, ” while the Government sets that figure at 75,000 to 100,000. By setting different welfare standards for urban and rural residents, he charged, the Government discriminates against Oriental Jews and Arabs, who live mostly in rural areas. He discounted as “myths” the Government claims that Israel does not have enough money to provide adequate welfare standards for many of its welfare cases.

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