TEL AVIV (Dec. 6)
Absorption Minister Natan Peled said last night that the government was doing all it could to speed up the construction of housing for new immigrants. Speaking at a Chanuka party for new olim at Holon, near Tel Aviv, he said a total of 5000 immigrants were expected during the month of Dec. and estimated that the total number of immigrants arriving in Israel during 1972 at 57,000, an increase of 41 percent over last year.
But the housing shortage is creating severe problems. Increasing numbers of new arrivals have to be housed temporarily with relatives or accommodated in hotels. About 40 immigrants who arrived at Lod Airport last night refused to accept housing sites offered them and were still at the airport terminal this morning, apparently with no place to go. The newcomers were offered housing at Dimona, a Negev town south of Beersheba, or at Kiryat Shemona, a village near the Lebanese border. They insisted on being settled closer to Israel’s main population centers.