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Absorption Ministry is Gearing Up for Massive Influx of Soviet Jews

September 18, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel will mobilize every form of shelter, including sanatoriums and army camps, to provide temporary housing for the influx of immigrants, including Soviet Jews, expected in the coming year, Absorption Minister Yitzhak Peretz told a news conference here over the weekend.

He expects immigration to total 20,000 by the end of this year. Last month’s arrivals numbered 1,900.

Israel estimates that 100,000 Jews will receive exit permits from the Soviet authorities next year. How many of them will choose to come to Israel is not known, but the percentage is expected to increase as the United States tightens its refugee policy.

The acute shortage of housing in Israel remains a major obstacle. Peretz said his ministry already has appointed committees to deal with that and other aspects of absorption.

The immigrants will be sent directly to absorption centers, but may be housed in hotels, sanatoriums and even army barracks, if necessary, until more permanent shelter can be found.

Peretz also said that each immigrant family will receive an “absorption basket” equivalent to $11,000 for their first year in the country.

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