Israel receives first non-Jewish migrants in three years
ISRAEL has welcomed a group of 64 Ethiopian migrants, the first group of a new wave of 9000 to arrive over the next five years, an official said.
Their arrival follows the resolution of a political crisis that threatened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which had reneged on its own decision to bring members of a community known as Falash Mura, citing budgetary limitations. Mr Netanyahu in April was finally forced to allow in 1300 Ethiopians this year.
“These 64 Ethiopians do not meet the criteria set by the Law of Return, which allows any Jew to settle in Israel, but members of their families have settled there,” said Yigar Palmor, spokesperson for the Jewish agency which
deals with immigration to Israel.
Mr Palmor said that once settled in Israel, the new immigrants would undergo a full conversion process to Judaism.
According to Mr Palmor, the government established a list of 9000 Ethiopians allowed to immigrate to Israel over the next five years in the name of family reunification.
The 64 newcomers constitute the first group of Ethiopians not recognised as Jews arriving in Israel in three years. –