JERUSALEM (Jan. 17)
Israel is investigating the disposal of hundreds of invitations sent to Jews in Soviet Armenia, which are a prerequisite for their application to emigrate.
Apparently, they did not reach their destinations because the mails were disrupted by fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, according to Michael Kleiner, chairman of the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee.
The Likud Knesset member said on a television news program Tuesday that Israel is aware of the urgent need to hasten the immigration of Jews from Armenia and Azerbaijan.
But he said Israel has no information to confirm reports from Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, that Jews were among the casualties of the ethnic strife.
However, he expressed concern for the safety of Jews in Baku because of the Iranian presence there. The Azerbaijanis, like the Iranians, are mainly Shi’ite Moslems. The Armenians are predominantly Christian.
Kleiner said Israel is presently seeking different ways to send the immigration documents to Jews in those Soviet republics and is investigating the possibility of direct flights from Armenia to Israel.