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Group of New York Jews weighs move to Ramallah area

The Jerusalem Post Staff
June 10, 2002

The World Zionist Organization has launched a program to encourage immigration to Israel, and is assisting Jews who choose to do so to move to communities in the West Bank, a statement says.

Ezra Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Judea and Samaria communities says that a group of up to 70 Orthodox families from Monsey, New York, is considering moving to Kochav Ya'akov, a settlement near Ramallah.

"In principle, we are trying to encourage Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza. This is part of our ideology," Rosenfeld told The Associated Press.

"They want to live in Israel and for ideological reasons, and want to live in Kochav Ya'akov, and they know where it is and in spite of - or maybe because of - where it is, have decided to live there," he added.

The newspaper Ma'ariv reported Sunday that the WZO had launched a program specifically meant to settle Jewish communities, along with their rabbis, in the West Bank.

A group of about 15 Peruvian families, some 100 people, immigrated recently to two Judea and Samaria communities as part of this program.

In a statement, the organization said it was assisting congregations in finding homes wherever they wanted, not necessarily in the West Bank.

Some Jewish communities, like one from France, have contacted the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza on their own, seeking assistance in settling in the West Bank, Rosenfeld said.