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Restrictions on Immigrants’ Privileges to Be Deferred Six Months

A series of regulations curtailing the privileges of new immigrants to import foreign goods duty free will be postponed for six months, it was learned today. The Finance Ministry, which had originally urged the restrictions, has recommended to the Knesset Finance Committee that implementation of the new regulations be deferred until Jan. 1, 1974, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed by a Ministry source. The regulations were to go into effect this July 1.

The Knesset committee is expected to accept the recommendation. A Finance Ministry spokesman stressed, however, that the postponement did not imply abandonment of the restrictions. “After Jan. 1 there is nothing anyone can do any more,” he said.

The regulations would prohibit new immigrants, among other things, from receiving packages from abroad duty free. They would end their privileges of importing goods duty free from any country except their country of origin. The new rules stirred widespread protests among immigrants and immigrant associations in Israel when they were first announced several months ago. The Finance Ministry’s recommendation to hold off on implementation is believed to have been in response to complaints from thousands of immigrants that their three-year period of rights was being curtailed. The immigrants were supported by the joint customs authority-immigrant associations committee.

Jewish Agency Executive chairman Louis Pincus promised months ago to try to have the new regulations rescinded altogether.. He said they had been recommended in the first place as a means of reducing anti-immigrant sentiment among Israelis who feel that newcomers receive too many privileges. Pincus contended that the new rules would only harm aliya.

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