Last stages of Ethiopian aliyah now under way

A charter flight of some 240 Ethiopian Jews launched the final stages of the aliyah from Ethiopia.

The flight, which arrived in Israel Oct. 29, marks the beginning of Operation Dove’s Wings, an Israeli government initiative to bring the remainder of the Falash Mura — Ethiopians whose ancestors converted from Judaism to Christianity — to Israel by March 2014.

The Ethiopians are waiting in a refugee camp in the Gondar province before coming to Israel. Some have been waiting for 10 years.

The flight was the first of a series of scheduled monthly flights.

In July, the Israeli government decided to increase the rate of aliyah from Ethiopia to complete the process as quickly as possible. — jta