A charter flight carrying approximately 240 olim (new immigrants) from Ethiopia, half of them children, is scheduled to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday.
The arrival is the first of a series of monthly flights planned as part of Operation Dove’s Wings, a government initiative to facilitate the immigration of the remainder the Falash Mura, members of the Ethiopian Jewish community who were forcibly converted to Christianity during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center in the Negev, which can accommodate up to 600 immigrants at a time, is scheduled to be reopened to ease the immigrants’ transition into Israeli society.
The monthly flights of Operation Dove’s Wings are scheduled to be completed by October 2013. The eligible Falash Mura have been waiting in Gondar, Ethiopia, where the Jewish Agency operates a community center.
The flight is to be welcomed by a host of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver and Jewish Agency Board of Directors chairman James S. Tisch.
The ceremony will take place during the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors session, which is taking place this week for the first time in its history in Tel Aviv, with the participation of Jewish leaders from Israel and around the world.