Government Will Spend $25 Million for Apartments for Ethiopian Immigrants

The government announced today that it will spend $25 million to purchase 600 apartments for new immigrants from Ethiopia. Health Minister Mordechai Gur, meanwhile, has ordered the medical profession to curb what he called “loose talk” about the health problems of the Ethiopian newcomers which has alarmed many Israelis.

The Finance Ministry has promised to transfer $25 million shortly to the Housing Ministry which has, it self, set aside a reserve fund to house the Ethiopians. So far it has not made any purchases but is studying a list submitted by the major housing and construction companies of apartments available or due to be completed.

WARNS DISCIPLINARY MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN

Health Minister Gur has warned doctors and nurses that disciplinary measures would be taken for public remarks that might spread panic among the populace and urged the public to remain calm.

He issued his orders during a tour of the government hospital in Afula where a number of young Ethiopians are undergoing treatment for various ailments, including tuberculosis. They are housed in separate wards, but some parents have demanded that their children be transferred to other hospitals.

Such demands developed when news of the airlift of Ethiopian Jews first broke last week and doctors, nurses and social workers were quoted in the media about the poor state of their health.

Many were reported to be suffering from diseases endemic to Africa which were unknown or rarely seen in Israel. Some of the ailments were said to be contagious. They are most prevalent among the Ethiopian children.

As a result, many parents have asked that their children not be treated in the same wards as the Ethiopian youngsters or even in the same hospitals.

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