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Increase in Aliya, Neshira

August 16, 1979
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The Jewish Agency reported yesterday a 57 percent increase in aliya in the first seven months of this year. The number of immigrants reached 21,012, compared to 13,354 in the same period last year. These figures appeared in the monthly immigration report which was given by Rafael Kotlowitz, head of the Jewish Agency immigration and absorption department, to members of the Executive. In July alone, some 3292 immigrants arrived in Israel, compared to 2187 in July 1978.

However, a continued increase in the number of Soviet Jewish dropouts in Vienna was also recorded. Out of the 4068 Jews leaving the USSR in July, only 1300 arrived in Israel, a dropout rate of 70 percent, which is a new record in the number of dropouts, the Jewish Agency noted.

The number of Soviet immigrants this year so far is 10,058, compared to 5979 last year, an increase of 68 percent. Immigration from France also increased by 39 percent, with 891 French immigrants arriving so far. However, immigration from South Africa and Argentina decreased by 22 percent.

Kotlowitz noted in his report that there is an increase in the shortage of housing for immigrants, and unless an early solution is found, there would be no more room in the absorption centers and other transition facilities for olim.

Some 15,663 immigrants are currently staying in 80 absorption centers throughout the country, waiting for their housing. Many of them have been staying there for more than a year, he said. The shortage in immigrant housing continues despite the opening in July of three new absorption centers in Afula, Ofakim and Ashkelon, Kotlowitz reported.

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