Immigrants Stage Hunger Strike to Protest Against Lack of Housing

About 150 recently arrived immigrants from the Soviet Union began a 48-hour hunger strike at the Shave Zion absorption center this morning to protest the failure of Israeli officials to provide them with permanent living quarters. Absorption Ministry officials claimed the protest was totally unjustified.

The immigrants, who include physicians, engineers and technicians, have been at the absorption center in northern Israel for four-and-a-half months. They claimed that permanent flats were available but that they were offered only temporary rented flats. They also said the Jewish Agency has told them they would have to leave the absorption center despite the fact that most of them are still jobless.

Baruch Zevulun, an Absorption Ministry spokesman, said that 15 of the 55 families at the center have been given permanent flats and the others were offered rented flats near their places of work. He said most of the newcomers were already working or had found jobs and that those still unemployed had been advised to move to another absorption center until they find jobs.

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