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Rabin Shocked by Israeli Poverty

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Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, returning shocked from a visit to an impoverished Tel Aviv neighborhood, has expressed concern about deteriorating social and economic conditions.

Rabin, who toured the poorer areas of southern Tel Aviv last week, said he was surprised at the high rate of unemployment, the lack of medical services and the high use of drugs.

“One mother told me of drug addicts sitting in front of every house,” Rabin said Monday, addressing a meeting of the ruling coalition’s factions in the Knesset.

Rabin painted a gloomy picture of Israel’s economic situation and compared the country to a family in a state of bankruptcy.

“At times during the tour,” Rabin recalled, “I did not know whether I was in Khan Yunis, the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, or in Tel Aviv.”

He charged that no new housing was built in the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv during the Likud-led government because so much of its budget had gone to the administered territories.

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