Israel seeks to bring 400 Ethiopians to rejoin families before March elections

On eve of Knesset election, Israel looks to bring 400 immigrants from Ethiopia, reuniting them with relatives already in Israel.

Marcy Oster, JTA ,

Ethiopian immigrants arrive in Israel
Ethiopian immigrants arrive in Israel
Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA

Israel could reunite 400 Ethiopians with their children already living there prior to national elections in March.

Israel’s Channel 12 news first reported the plan on Wednesday. The Cabinet could discuss it when it meets on Tuesday.

The Ethiopians representing 60 families who would be brought to Israel before March 2 are part of the Falash Mura community, who claim links to descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity generations ago under duress but now seek a return to Judaism.

Some 8,000 Falash Mura in Ethiopia are awaiting permission to immigrate to Israel, most of whom have some family members in Israel. A Cabinet resolution in 2015 committed to bring all 8,000 to Israel by 2020, but limited money has been allocated in successive budgets to make that happen.

In October 2018, the Cabinet approved a plan for the immigration of 1,000 candidates in the following year who met the criterion of having first-degree relatives who entered Israel under previous government decisions regarding the Falash Mura community. But in 2019 only about 600 arrived.

About 140,000 Ethiopians live in Israel.



top