Israel to 'immediately' bring over 2,000 Ethiopian Jews

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has informed his Ethiopian counterpart that his country intends to bring over 2,000 Ethiopian Jews "immediately". The announcement came on Friday after a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Netanyahu's office said the decision came "out of his commitment to the continued aliyah of the Jews in Israel".
Around 13,000 Ethiopian Jews live in the capital Addis Ababa and in Gondar. Most of them are waiting to be taken to Israel, which they call home. Most of them live in difficult conditions and have threatened a hunger strike if they are not allowed to travel to their "homeland". Many say they have family members who settled in Israel.
"Up until COVID-19, around 250 people had traveled to Israel last year. Now the trip has stopped, but Israeli officials are conducting online interviews, ”Nigusie Alemu Eyasu, program director for the Ethiopian Jewish Community, told The Associated Press.
Activists say the Israeli government committed itself in 2015 to bringing the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel. While Ethiopia was in the midst of civil war in 1991, Israel carried out the dramatic Operation Solomon and blew around 14,500 Ethiopian Jews in less than two days.
Ethiopian Jews are often referred to as "falashas" in Ethiopia, a derogatory word that translates to "strangers" or "migrants".

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