Tuesday, 19 Jan 2021 - 6 of Shevat, 5781

New immigrants from Ethiopia arrive in Israel within the framework of ‘Operation Rock of Israel’

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The 316 immigrants are among approximately 2,000 who are slated to make aliyah by the end of January as part of the operation aimed at reuniting them with their families in Israel.

Approximately 13,000 Jews currently reside in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, and in Gondar in the northern part of the African country. Most live in poverty and are waiting to be taken to Israel, which they consider their homeland. Many have family members who have been living in Israel since “Operation Moses” in 1984 and “Operation Solomon” in 1991, when the Israel Air Force Israel airlifted a total of some 20,000 Jews out of Ethiopia.

 

A first group of new immigrants from the Jewish community in Ethiopia arrived in Israel on Thursday within the framework of “Operation Tzur Israel” (“Rock of Israel”).

The 316 immigrants are among approximately 2,000 who are slated to make aliyah by the end of January as part of the operation aimed at reuniting them with their families in Israel.

They arrived together with Immigration Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano Shata, and were greeted at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Aiport by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog and other dignitaries.

Keren Hayesod will be supporting them in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Immigration and Integration.

These new immigrants have arrived during an ongoing lockdown in Israel. While their families were unable to join them at the airport, the first flight of new immigrants still enjoyed a celebration of this momentous occasion. They will immediately enter quarantine, in alignment with government protocols relating to the pandemic.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the new immigrants: “You have waited a long time to realize this dream, and today it is coming true.” “I do not remember, for many years, when I have been moved so much at a sight of such refined Zionism that expresses all of its significance,” he said at a ceremony at the airport.

Netanyahu informed Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in October about his intention to bring to Israel some 2,000 Ethiopian Jews currently in Addis Ababa and Gondar waiting to immigrate. In a phone conversation during which the two leaders discussed regional issues, Ahmed readily agreed to the move and stressed the special bond between the people of Ethiopia and Israel.

Approximately 13,000 Jews currently reside in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, and in Gondar in the northern part of the African country. Most live in poverty and are waiting to be taken to Israel, which they consider their homeland. Many have family members who have been living in Israel since “Operation Moses” in 1984 and “Operation Solomon” in 1991, when the Israel Air Force Israel airlifted a total of some 20,000 Jews out of Ethiopia.

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