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Hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants get warm welcome in Israel

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“My wife Sara and myself were standing there with tears in our eyes,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned at a welcoming ceremony.

Hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants on Thursday arrived to a festive ceremony at Israel’s worldwide airport, as the federal government took a step towards finishing up its pledge to reunite a whole lot of households break up between the 2 international locations.

Some 300 folks landed on the Ethiopian Airlines flight, with many waving flags or stopping to kiss the bottom as they streamed off the plane onto a purple carpet. Many have been dressed in conventional Ethiopian robes, and many ladies held infants in their arms. Festive Hebrew songs have been blasted over loudspeakers.

Although the households are of Jewish descent and lots of are working towards Jews, Israel doesn’t take into account them Jewish beneath spiritual legislation. Instead, they have been permitted to enter the nation beneath a family-unification program that requires particular authorities approval.

A big delegation of Israeli officers welcomed the group, and Pnina Tamano-Shata, the nation’s first Ethiopian-born Cabinet minister, traveled to Ethiopia to affix them on the flight.

“My wife Sara and myself were standing there with tears in our eyes,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned at a welcoming ceremony. This is the essence of our Jewish story, the essence of the Zionist story. Community activists have accused the federal government of dragging its ft in implementing a 2015 choice to carry all remaining Ethiopians of Jewish lineage to Israel inside 5 years. Netanyahu’s Likud social gathering repeated that pledge earlier than nationwide elections early this 12 months.

The Struggle for Ethiopian Aliyah, an activist group selling household unification, estimates some 7,000 Ethiopian Jews stay behind in Ethiopia, some of whom have been ready for years to affix their households.

Once once more, the federal government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu has determined to put quotas on the immigration of Jews from Ethiopia, mentioned Muket Fenta, an activist who has been preventing for over a decade to carry his aunt to Israel.

The authorities is celebrating a number of hundred immigrants from Ethiopia, whereas 1000’s have been purported to be right here and are nonetheless left behind whereas their destiny is in query, he mentioned.

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