Peres Says Jerusalem Housing Plan Will Perpetuate Its Jewish Character

In the past two years, 20 percent of single immigrants but only eight percent of immigrant families left Israel, Minister of Immigrant Absorption Shimon Peres disclosed here last night. Mr. Peres made the disclosure before the Jerusalem City Council where he outlined his plan for the construction of 25,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem, the sector formerly occupied by Jordan. Mr. Peres said his housing scheme was part of a plan to settle 200,000 immigrants in Jerusalem during the next decade out of a total of 500,000 expected to come to Israel. This would contribute toward eliminating international debate over the city’s status and would perpetrate its Jewish character, Mr. Peres claimed. It would more than double Jerusalem’s present population. He said a capital outlay of about $170 million was necessary for the plan to be completed in the next five years. The City Council unanimously endorsed the housing program. Mayor Teddy Kollek warned however that detailed planning would be required before the city’s population was doubled.

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