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Ministers vote to okay immigration of remnant Ethiopian community

Ministers have voted to okay the immigration of some 5,000 Ethiopians waiting for years to fly to Israel.

Those included in the agreement have first-degree relatives in Israel and were eligible to immigrate under a 2015 government decision, under which 9,000 people who have first-degree relatives in Israel and had arrived in camps in Gondar or Addis Ababa by 2010 would be brought to the Jewish state.

The decision comes amid rising calls within Israel among leaders and members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community to swiftly bring over those still waiting to immigrate, as a civil war in the country heats up.

Immigration Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked agreed earlier this month on the plan to bring the would-be immigrants to Israel, after reports that Tamano-Shata had threatened to quit over the issue.

Some 4,000 Ethiopians were brought to Israel following the 2015 decision, but reports indicate the number of those waiting to emigrate has swelled from 5,000 to around 8,000 in the meantime.

Estimates indicate there may be thousands more Ethiopians who are also seeking to reach the Jewish state.

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