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Israel to increase number of Ethiopian immigrants

JTA

February 28, 2012 | 10:22 am

Israel will increase the number of immigrants from Ethiopia for the next several months after bringing in many fewer than it had promised.

Some 1,000 Falash Mura, Ethiopians whose ancestors converted from Judaism to Christianity, will be brought to Israel over the next four months, about 250 per month.

Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Jewish Agency, the Interior and Immigrant Absorption ministries, and Ethiopian immigrant advocacy organizations met Sunday night and arrived at the plan, Haaretz reported.

The Israeli government in October 2010 reportedly had agreed to bring in 200 Falash Mura each month until the remaining 4,500 approved for immigration were in Israel, but only about 110 have been arriving each month. The government has said it cut the number due to dwindling available space in absorption centers.

The Ethiopians are waiting in a refugee camp in the Gondar province before coming to Israel.

“The Jewish Agency is thrilled by this decision and will do everything in our power to bring this historic aliyah to its completion as quickly as possible,” Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said in a statement.

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