JERUSALEM (Aug. 18)
The Jewish Agency executive opened its plenary session here tonight with a discussion of plans to increase the flow of Jewish immigrants from North Africa to Israel. The question of the integration of immigrants from Western countries in Israel was also discussed at the meeting.
Rabbi Herbert Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, participated in the opening session and reported on the outlook of the UJA campaign for this year. The meeting will last until Monday and will be followed by a session of the World Zionist Actions Committee, the supreme Zionist body between world congresses.
It was learned at the meeting that in addition to the funds raised by the Jewish Agency, through the UJA and the Keren Hayesod, for the settlement and absorption of new immigrants in Israel, the Israel Government will place at the Agency’s disposal this year a loan of 8,000,000 Israel pounds for the construction of about 1,750 new farms. Priority in establishing new settlements this year will be given to the Lachish area southwest of Jerusalem.
All the new settlements founded in Israel since the establishment of the Jewish State are under the aegis of the Jewish Agency, it was emphasized in a report to the meeting. An additional investment of about 200,000,000 pounds is needed to put them on a financially firm basis. This year the Agency will invest about 60 million pounds in these settlements. Emphasis will be laid on enlarging the amount of irrigated land cultivated by the new settlements by 100,000 dunams. Half of this irrigated area will be in the northern Negev.
It was revealed at the meeting that a three-year housing plan is about to be instituted and 1,750 houses for new immigrants will be erected, as well as 1,450 units in kibbutzim, and 1,500 additional rooms for large families in existing smallholders settlements.