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450 Elderly Immigrants Will Be Displaced by U.S. Embassy Move To Jerusalem

The U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem will cause 450 elderly immigrants to lose their homes, and the Knesset doesn’t have a solution yet.

The Diplomat Hotel, which is owned by the U.S. and is located next door to the Jerusalem consulate that will become the embassy in 2020, is being leased as housing for elderly immigrants. But the building is slated to become part of the embassy, forcing the residents to find other housing.

At a heated discussion at the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on Monday, Ksenia Svetlova of the left-wing Zionist Union blasted the committee for not moving quickly enough to find a solution for the residents.

“There are only two years left to create a practical and fair solution,” she said. “And today we hear again from the Ministry of Immigration that they still have no solutions and are busy negotiating.”

The director-general of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, Alex Kushner, discussed extending the lease and postponing the hotel becoming part of the embassy. A Foreign Ministry representative said he didn’t believe this was a feasible option.

Kushner also spoke about moving the residents or building new housing for them. Svetlova dismissed this as empty words. “There is no land, no plan, and nothing practical on the ground other than promises,” she said, insisting that time was running out. “We have lost too much time, but we will not wait any longer. The issue of Diplomat Hotel and its tenants must be solved immediately.”

Contact Avichai Scher at scher@forward.com or on Twitter, @avi_scher

This story "Jerusalem Embassy Move to Displace Elderly Immigrants" was written by Avichai Scher.

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450 Elderly Immigrants Will Be Displaced by U.S. Embassy Move To Jerusalem

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