Houthis in Yemen
Houthis in Yemen Reuters

The pro-Iranian Houthi militia has begun arresting the remaining Jews in the Kharif District, the Egyptian Al Mesryoon newspaper reported Monday.

According to the report, after arresting the Jewish residents, the Houthis forced them to sell their homes, their land, and all their properties to Houthi leaders. The militia has also pressured them to leave Yemen.

Al Mesryoon further reported that Yemen's small Jewish community has faced systematic discrimination and human rights violations from the Houthis, who have cut off water and electricity from Jewish homes and prevented Jews from going out to purchase food.

The Jewish community of Yemen is one of the most ancient in the world. Although there are several theories for when the first Jews reached Yemen, whether during King Solomon's reign, the Babylonian Exile or other eras, a letter sent to the Yemenite Jewish community by Maimonides in 1143 (Epistle to Yemen) is proof of an established Jewish presence in the country. Increased religious persecution following the founding of the State of Israel led to a mass exodus of Jews from Yemen in the 1940s and 1950s.

Approximately 49,000 Jews were airlifted to Israel from Yemen during Operation Magic Carpet in 1949-50.

Less than 100 Jews remain in Yemen today after the Satmar hassidim and Jewish Agency helped other Jews escape. In April 2020, Yemen's Information Minister Moammer al-Iryani told Israel Radio that the government did not know the fate of the Jews living under Houthi control and that the Houthis were carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Jews and other non-Shi'ite Muslim communities.