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Ethiopians immigrants make Aliyah despite airport closure

Ethiopian-Jewish immigrants make Aliyah to Israel despite airport closure

The Ethiopian immigrants touched down on Friday despite the underlying circumstances.


Some 302 Ethiopian-Jewish immigrants were flown into Israel on a specially chartered flight sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), to make Aliyah despite Ben-Gurion Airport being closed and the borders being sealed off tight to lower COVID-19 infections.


The Ethiopian immigrants touched down on Friday despite the underlying circumstances.


Ben-Gurion Airport has been closed over the past two weeks, and Israel's borders have been shut, in an effort to bring down COVID-19 infections and in light of the numerous variants making way across the world.


The new immigrants had to show negative coronavirus tests before boarding the flight, and will now quarantine in Israel for two weeks.


One of the new arrivals was a six-year-old boy who was in emergency need of heart surgery, and was taken from the plane to a nearby hospital.


The ICEJ set out to bring 2,000 Ethiopian-Jewish immigrants to Israel as part of its "Operation Rock of Israel" launched in December, it has so far met a quarter of its quota, and sponsored flights for over 500 new immigrants.


“This is a difficult time for everyone, but we are so grateful that these Ethiopian immigrants were granted special permission to make the journey home to Israel last night”, said ICEJ President Dr Jürgen Bühler. “They have endured very tough conditions in Gondar and were expecting to come to Israel any day now, only to see their hopes dashed by the recent airport closure."


"But now their dreams have come true of finally reuniting with their families in the Promised Land," he added. "And we also have many Christians worldwide to thank for making this flight possible.”


To date, the ICEJ has sponsored flights for over 2,700 Ethiopian Jews in total. There are still around 7,500 members of the Jewish community remaining in Ethiopia. Israel has made arrangements to bring all Ethiopian Jews who wish to come to Israel, the right and means to do so over the next couple of years.


Jerusalem Post Staff, February 12, 2021

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/ethiopian-jewish-immigrants-make-aliyah-to-israel-despite-airport-closure-658784

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