A group of 66 relieved but bewildered Vietnamese refugees arrived to a warm welcome on sunday (26 June) in Israel, a country many of them had never heard of before.
SV Vietnamese refugees down aircraft steps at Tel Aviv Airport.
SV INTERIOR Refugees in airport lounge.
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Small boy to family of refugees.
CU Woman refugee speaking to reporter.
CU Family of refugees.
SV Refugee receiving Israeli papers and shaking hands with official and holding up papers.
Refugees boarding bus and leaving airport. (3 shots)
CU Prime Minister Menachem Begin speaking outside his office.
TRANSCRIPT: BEGIN: "I am very glad indeed that today we should receive the 66 refugees from an Israeli boat which waved them in the ocean. There were three other ships and boats who saw those refugees and didn't extend any help to them. I may say that its a shameful evasion of saving people who were threatened with drowning."
Initials VS 18.30
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Background: A group of 66 relieved but bewildered Vietnamese refugees arrived to a warm welcome on sunday (26 June) in Israel, a country many of them had never heard of before.
SYNOPSIS: The refugees were picked up from a sinking boat by the Israeli freighter, Yuvali, off the Vietnamese coast on June the 9th. Several Asian countries had refused to take them in and five other ships they encountered refused even to give them water. The group, which included 16 children and several pregnant women, were flown to tel Aviv from Taiwan. They were greeted at the airport by a representative of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
Mr. Begin's representative said the Vietnamese would receive all possible aid. Jews knew very well what it felt like to be refugees with every door being closed in their faces, he said. Dr. Tran quang Hua, one of group's leaders, said the escape had been long planned Dr. Hua, a former South Vietnamese army surgeon said they had intended to sail for Thailand or Malaysia since they could no longer support the Communist government of Vietnam.
The refugees were issued with visas and work permits at the airport before leaving for Ofakim in southern Israel. About half have said they want to go to the United States, and the others would like to remain in Israel. The Israeli government will help those wanting to go to the United States. Later Prime Minister Menachem Begin spoke about the refugees at his office.