Seventy-two new Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on 5 June as part of a collaborative effort between the Jewish Agency for Israel and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).
More than 200 families and supporters greeted the new immigrants at the airport. Three more immigrant flights from Ethiopia were expected to arrive in Israel in June. The flight marked the first group of Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia to arrive in Israel since the Israeli government renewed the Ethiopian Aliyah program in October 2016.
ICEJ, a Christian Zionist global ministry, sponsored the latest Ethiopian immigration wave to Israel and has worked to raise funds for the first year of the reintroduced Ethiopian Aliyah program, which will bring 1400 new immigrants to the Jewish state. Some 9000 Jews still reside in Ethiopia and are awaiting Israeli government approval to make Aliyah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and his wife to the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.
“The Ethiopian community, Mr. Prime Minister, is a human bridge between our two nations,” Netanyahu said.