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Housing Shortage Said to Hold Up Potential Aliya

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Israel’s continuing housing shortage is holding up potential aliya from various parts of the world and causing hardship for thousands of immigrants already in Israel, according to associations of immigrants from Western and Oriental countries.

Spokesmen for both groups said that some 25,000 immigrants have been stuck in absorption centers for the past 3-4 years, unable to move into flats of their own despite repeated promises by the Ministry of Construction and Housing.

They said that some 3,000 potential olim from Latin America have been forced to postpone their departure for Israel because of the lack of proper housing. The immigration of “thousands of Jews” from Soviet Georgia is being held up for the same reason, the spokesmen said.

The Knesset’s Committee on Immigration and Absorption is scheduled to discuss the housing problem and the situation at absorption centers early next month. Representatives of the immigrants associations warned that demonstrations will occur if there is no constructive solution by then.

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