BY TAMARA ZIEVE FEBRUARY 12, 2018 15:02
Within four weeks the government will approve the immigration of 1,000 Ethiopians residing in Gondar and Addis Ababa, the Interior Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office told the State Control Committee on Monday. Director general of the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority Shlomo Mor-Yosef and deputy director general of the Prime Minister’s Office Udi Praver said they submitted an urgent request to the Government Secretariat to discuss the matter at a cabinet meeting. They informed MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union), chair of the State Control Committee, that approval would be given within four weeks for funds in the 2018 budget.
In 2017, 1,308 Ethiopians immigrated to Israel, in accordance with the latest cabinet decisions on the issue, which state that up to 9,000 Ethiopians could be brought to Israel by the end of 2020. A new cabinet decision is needed to allow for continued aliya from Ethiopia this year.
Ethiopians in the group waiting to immigrate are known as Falash Mura, the name given to those members of the Beta Israel community in Ethiopia and Eritrea who – under compulsion and pressure from missionaries – converted to Christianity during the 19th and 20th centuries. Since their ancestors converted to another religion, they are not covered by the Law of Return, which grants the right to immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship to anyone with a Jewish grandparent. Instead, they are brought according to the Law of Entry and are required to convert to Judaism once they are here.