30 Aug 2013

More Ethiopians repatriated to Israel

12:59 pm on 30 August 2013

Another 450 Ethiopians of Jewish descent have been repatriated to Israel.

Many members of the Falash Mura community lived in poor conditions in northern Ethiopia.

The BBC reports their ancestors converted to Christianity under pressure in the 19th Century and they have been campaigning for decades to be allowed to settle in Israel.

The Israeli government agreed in 2010 to resume a repatriation programme, after it was halted two years earlier.

The BBC reports the latest 450 migrants had been living in transit camps in Gondar city in northern Ethiopia, as they waited to go to Israel.

They were the last of 8000 who qualified for repatriation and flew into Ben Gurion airport in two chartered flights.

The Times of Israel newspaper reports another 12,000 Falash Mura have not been granted permission to move to Israel.

About 90,000 Ethiopian Jews have immigrated to Israel since it was founded in 1948.