Ethiopian Baby with Israeli flag
Ethiopian Baby with Israeli flagIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A charter flight carrying approximately 240 new immigrants from Ethiopia is scheduled to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday.

The flight is the first of a series of monthly flights planned as part of Operation Dove’s Wings, a government initiative to speed up the place of aliyah and bring the remainder of the Falash Mura, members of the Ethiopian Jewish community who were forcibly converted to Christianity during the 19th and 20th centuries, to Israel.

The Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center in the Negev is set to reopen in order to accommodate a number of the new immigrants. The rest will be spread among an additional 16 absorption centers throughout Israel operated by the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry.

The 17.5-million-shekel operation is scheduled to be completed by October 2013.

The flight will be welcomed by a host of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, Minister of Immigrant Absorption MK Sofa Landver and Jewish Agency Board of Directors chairman James S. Tisch.

The ceremony, which will take place in Tel Aviv, will include participation of Jewish leaders and philanthropists from Israel and around the world.