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Yemenite Jewish Refugees in Cairo Face Deportation

A group of 12 Jewish refugees who fled Yemen are being detained in Cairo and face deportation -- back to Yemen.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 9/1/2011, 9:06 PM

The leading Rabbi of the Jewish Community in Yemen described 12 Jews who fled Yemen when protests there broke out are 'outlaws' who had left the country 'illegally.'

Rabbi Yahya Yousof said the 12 refugees are now in Egypt are expected to be deported back to Yemen soon due to false information given to Yemeni immigration authorities. The 12 Jews are presently being detained in Egypt.

It is unknown if the 12 fled Yemen on their own, or whether it was a part of a botched Satmar operation to relocate Yemen’s Jews to Argentina (21 have gone so far).

Yousof, who has previously said trying to leave Yemen was a betrayal of their host nation’s ‘hospitality,’ said the twelve could face legal actions due to giving false information and traveling with false paperwork.

“The Yemeni government has been treating Yemeni Jews with great respect and very few Jews are planning to leave the country,” said Yousof.

“Why would Jews leave Yemen when they are respected by the people and its government,” concluded Yousof.

However, a Yemeni Jew from Raidah, 50 kilometers to the north of Sana’a, who spoke on condition of anonymity said many Yemeni Jews – including the 12 in Cairo – have been planning to migrate to Europe in fears of being killed by Islamic terrorists.

Yemen's Jews have faced a growing wave of anti-Semitic violence in recent years – not to mention the kidnapping of daughters of marriageable age which forced the government of now-embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh to relocate them and place them under heightened protection.

The future of Yemen's community would be thrown into doubt should Saleh depart - an outcome that seems increasingly likely.

Saleh, a tenacious political survivor who has backed out of three transition of power deals to date, said earlier this week he would agree to step down in the coming months.