Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Israel to approve immigration for 1,000 Ethiopian Jews

Published:Tuesday | September 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM


The Israeli government has agreed to absorb 1,000 Ethiopian Jews - accepting just a fraction of the African country's 8,000 remaining Jews who want to move to Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a special committee had agreed to allow community members who already have children in Israel to immigrate. It was not clear what will happen to the remaining 7,000 people.

Alisa Bodner, a spokeswoman for Israel's Ethiopian community, called Netanyahu's decision an "incredible disappointment".

Many of the 8,000 are practising Jews and have relatives in Israel. But Israel doesn't consider them Jewish under strict religious law, meaning their immigration requires special approval.

Israel agreed in 2015 to bring the remaining Ethiopians to Israel but has not authorised funding for their move. The families allege discrimination.