TEL AVIV (May. 16)
Israeli officials are attempting to reduce the large percentage of returnees among single immigrants. Hillel Ashkenazi, director general of the Absorption Ministry, announced today that 30 percent of the new houses built for immigrants would be ear-marked for single people.
According to Ashkenazi, the principal reason why more single immigrants leave in larger numbers than other immigrants is the fact that they are not entitled to government-assisted housing which is available for immigrant families. He said this policy was being changed and about 30 percent of the fists earmarked for immigrants will be converted into one-and-a-half and two-room apartments for single immigrants.
Ashkenazi announced that a larger terminal will be built for immigrants at Lydda Airport. Some 30,000 immigrants passed through the terminal last year and 50,000 are expected this year. The newcomers spend between 3-4 hours at the terminal for processing. Ashkenazi said that a detachment of Absorption Ministry officials would be stationed in Vienna to arrange for housing before the immigrants arrive in Israel and are subjected to pressure from their relatives as to where to live.