Final airlifts of Ethiopian immigrants arrive in Israel
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The final two charter flights of new immigrants from Ethiopia landed in Israel.
The two airplanes carrying the 450 new Israeli citizens arrived Aug. 28 at Ben Gurion Airport.
The new immigrants are known as Falash Mura — Ethiopians who claim links to descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity generations ago but now seek to return to Judaism and immigrate to Israel. They have been accepted to Israel under different rules than those governing other immigrants.
In advance of the final airlift, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky recently turned over the keys to the Jewish school of Gondar to the Ethiopian city’s mayor. The Jewish Agency donated all the school buildings and equipment to the municipality.
However, about 12,000 Falash Mura who were not granted permission to make aliyah remain in Gondar. Many have relatives in Israel. In advance of the flights’ landings, hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis demonstrated last week on behalf of the Falash Mura left behind.
Ethiopian Jews also were airlifted to Israel during Operation Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1992. — jta
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