JERUSALEM (Mar. 29)
Israel is proceeding with the first stage of a controversial housing development that will establish 2,600 Jewish housing units in the former Arab sector of East Jerusalem, Housing Minister Zeev Sharef told the Knesset today. He said 750 units will be built in the Neveh Yaacov area, 550 in Ramot, 600 in East Talpiot and 700 in Giloh. The project has been criticized in Israel for aesthetic reasons and denounced abroad on grounds that it violated United Nations Security Council injunctions prohibiting Israel from unilaterally altering the status of Jerusalem. Sharef disclosed that 1,626 persons still live in maabarot, the communities of “temporary” tin huts erected all over Israel 20 years ago to house the flood of immigrants arriving during the early years of Statehood. Sharef said that virtually all of the persons still housed in maabarot were social cases in need of rehabilitation. He said the lack of housing was only one of their many problems.