JERUSALEM (Jul. 2)
The 40 families of Vered Yericho announced Wednesday that they are returning home, six weeks after they abandoned their moshav which was hopelessly in debt.
Their financial problems were resolved with the help of Housing Minister David Levy who agreed to assist the settlers to complete construction of their homes and promised their payments on a $1 million mortgage would not be in default.
The payments were lost when the mortgagee, the Ihud Haklai (Agricultural Union), collapsed in bankruptcy. The settlers lost an additional $150,000 they had given the failed company to pay the Mekorot water company for their water bills. Mekorot was never paid and cut off the Moshav’s water used to irrigate the vineyards. The Housing Ministry will try to recover the mortgage payments from the receiver of the bankrupt Ihud Haklai.
Meanwhile, the last 30 members of Kibbutz Ravid in lower Galilee were planning to leave this week, not because of financial difficulties but social problems. The kibbutz, established seven years ago, has been disintegrating. Many members departed recently and no replacements could be recruited.
A spokesman for the United Kibbutz Movement said the problem was replacing the present kibbutz population with another. About 25 army veterans have arrived to form the nucleus of a new kibbutz.