Report

Ethiopian Govt okays immigration of 2,000 Falash Mura from Ethiopia by end of 2020

According to the original plan, 4,500 of those waiting in Addis Ababa and Gondar would be brought by the end of 2020, and the remainder by 2023.

by Jerusalem Post Sep 10th 2020 · 1 min read
The author (front right) with 8,000 Falash Mura in 1998 ignored at the time by the State of Israel; although all of them made aliyah, about 9,000 remain in Gondar today
The author (front right) with 8,000 Falash Mura in 1998 ignored at the time by the State of Israel; although all of them made aliyah, about 9,000 remain in Gondar today

The government approved on Wednesday night the immigration of 2,000 members of the Falash Mura community in Ethiopia to Israel by the end of the year.

The NIS 180 million plan was announced as part of the new government budget, which aside from the Falash Mura budget, approved special grants for the disabled population, an aid program to integrate members of the Ethiopian community in Israel, dozens of new educational programs in state and religious education, a security budget increase, a program for the empowerment and development of the Druze and Circassian populations, development and strengthening of settlement building operations in Judea and Samaria, aid budgets for student villages throughout the country, animal rights programs and more.

Aliyah and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata noted that Finance Minister Israel Katz backed the decision, noting that the situation of those waiting in Addis Ababa and Gondar was worsening due to the coronavirus public health crisis in Ethiopia.

Preparations will now begin to bring those members of the community whose immigration is approved to Israel before the end of 2020.

“It has been one hundred days since I became aliyah and absorption minister and I am determined to all those who are waiting in Ethiopia and to shut the [communal] compounds,” said Tamano-Shata.

“I thank the finance minister who saw eye to eye with me about the importance of this issue. As it is said, anyone who saves one person is as if they saved an entire world.”

Last month, Tamano-Shata laid out her comprehensive plan for bringing the remainder of the estimated 8,000 members of the Falash Mura community in Ethiopia who have close family in Israel into the country, stating that she was seeking to bring 4,500 by the end of 2020.

The government balked at this figure however, and support could only be garnered for an initial 2,000 by the end of the year.

Although Tamano-Shata initially sought to bring her entire plan for government approval, it will now need to be approved in a separate government decision.

The minister’s office said that the worsening humanitarian situation of the community in Ethiopia required more immediate steps than deliberation over the comprehensive plan would allow.

According to the original plan, 4,500 of those waiting in Addis Ababa and Gondar would be brought by the end of 2020, and the remainder by 2023.

The plan also provides for the closure of the communal compounds in those cities, and for assistance to be provided to anyone not ultimately given permission to come to Israel.

last updated: 2020-09-10@10:09