New immigrants arrive from Ethiopia amid pandemic
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New immigrants arrive from Ethiopia amid pandemic

Group of 34 arrivals, part of Falash Mura community approved to move to Israel months ago, immediately placed in isolation

Ethiopian Israelis greet President Reuven Rivlin at a Sigd Celebration in Jerusalem on November 7, 2018. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Ethiopian Israelis greet President Reuven Rivlin at a Sigd Celebration in Jerusalem on November 7, 2018. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

JTA — Thirty-four immigrants from Ethiopia arrived in Israel, bringing to 269 the total of Ethiopians to make aliyah since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new immigrants who arrived early Thursday morning were immediately placed in isolation as a requirement to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Haaretz reported.

They are among 400 Ethiopians who claim Jewish heritage who were approved for immigration three weeks before Israel’s March 2 election.

Forty-three Ethiopian immigrants arrived less than a week before the election. The rest of the arrivals were put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.

A group of 73 Ethiopian immigrants arrived on a flight at the end of March. And another group of 119 arrived in mid-May.

The potential immigrants are part of the Falash Mura community, who claim links to descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity generations ago under duress but now seek a return to Judaism. Some 8,000 Falash Mura in Ethiopia are awaiting permission to immigrate to Israel, most of whom have some family members in Israel.

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