More immigrants arrived in Israel in 1990 than any year since 1949, and the record may be broken in 1991, immigration officials said.

About 187,000 immigrants, the majority of them Soviet Jews, have arrived in Israel since January 1990, immigration officials said Monday.Their number is expected to reach 200,000 by Dec. 31, the highest number since the year after independence, when 239,964 Jews arrived in a one-year period, officials said. In 1989, about 12,000 newcomers came to Israel.

Israeli officials have repeatedly underlined their belief that there is an urgency to bring as many Soviet Jews to Israel as soon as possible.