Israel approves immigration for 9,000 Ethiopian Jews

Following previous decision to halt Ethiopian aliyah, 9,000 Ethiopian Jews eligible to make aliyah

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The Israeli government has approved a proposal made by Interior Minister Silvan Shalom to continue Ethiopian immigration to Israel. The decision comes after aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) from Ethiopia was stopped.

The Jews in Ethiopia were forced to convert to Christianity in the 19th and 20th century and are referred to as Falashmura or Beta Israel. Ethiopian Jews began making aliyah to Israel through Operation Moses, Joshua and Solomon in 1979 through 1990.

The most recent proposal will allow the over 9,000 Jews from Gondar and Addis Ababa to make aliyah under the conditions they convert in Israel. Jews in these communities have left their homes with intention of immigrating to Israel.

Additionally, Ethiopians within Israel with relatives still stuck in Ethiopia will have three months to apply for their aliyah from Israel.

The proposal states that, “many families of Ethiopian origin were left split, some in Israel and some in Ethiopia. The matter of these families, waiting for aliyah in Addis Ababa and Gondar, is unique: These are people who left their homes and villages many years ago, and while some members of their families came to Israel, after having met the conditions of the various cabinet decisions regarding the Falashmura, they remained in Addis Ababa and Gondar, living a Jewish life…”

As the previous proposal for the last wave of Ethiopian aliyah, the proposal claims this will be the last Ethiopian aliyah and that there would be “no more organized groups”, only aliyah on individual basis.