Zionist body plans immigrant 'buffer zone'
Jerusalem - The World Zionist Organisation (WZO) will send Jewish communities from abroad, headed by their local rabbis, to reinforce efforts to populate West Bank settlements, it was reported here on Sunday.
The project, entitled Rise to Israel of the Rabbi and his Community, will begin later this month when some 70 to 100 families will arrive from New York, led by rabbi Mordechai Tendler. They will move into the Kohav settlement north of Jerusalem.
A second group of about 50 families from the southern French city of Marseille, led by their rabbi, Abraham Maimon, will follow.
Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising, immigration to Israel has dropped and so has the number of people moving into settlements in the occupied territories, which are considered illegal under international law.
Last year, about 45 000 people immigrated to Israel compared with 60 000 in 2000, according to WZO figures. - Sapa-AFP