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Sharon Given Emergency Powers to Import 3,000 Prefab Houses

The Cabinet gave Housing Minister Ariel Sharon emergency powers Sunday to immediately import 3,000 prefabricated houses, to meet the urgent needs of large-scale immigration.

The houses will be installed at seven separate locations around the country.

Standard planning laws and procedures will be suspended in recognition of the housing emergency, the Cabinet decided. Sharon’s powers will be in effect for three months.

The 15-2 vote, with one abstention, was Sharon’s first victory since taking office in the new Likud-led government last month.

Absorption Minister Yitzhak Peretz announced Sunday that 57,743 immigrants had arrived since the beginning of the year, 50,000 of them from the Soviet Union.