Nearly 300 new olim (immigrants) from Ethiopia landed Thursday morning at Ben Gurion Airport on the 9th and final flight of “Operation Zur Israel,” launched last December after the Government of Israel approved the Aliyah (immigration to Israel) of 2,000 members from the Ethiopian community.
The olim will join the 1700 other Ethiopians who have already arrived as part of Operation Zur Israel, which was led by Minister of Aliyah and Integration MK Pnina Tamano-Shata and The Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman of the Executive Isaac Herzog.
“The final Operation Zur Israel flight arrived today reuniting countless families after far too many years apart. This is a moment that tugs at the heartstrings, reminding us that our mission to bring the remaining members of the community waiting to make Aliyah is far from over,” said Chairman Herzog.
“I’d like to thank my friend, Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata, and her entire Ministry for working with us to bring this complex operation to fruition. I’m also thankful to the generous donors and partners who came together to bring these 2,000 new immigrants to Israel over the course of the past few months.”
Among the olim that arrived as part of Operation Zur Israel include: 893 children, 250 young adults aged 18-24 who will soon enter the Israel Defense Forces, 70 infants less than a year old, and 35 individuals over 70 years old. The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency helped settle the olim in absorption centers throughout the country, where they received support and guidance in all areas of life, from learning Hebrew to entering the workforce and the Israeli education system.
“This is a journey that is well underway, but far from complete. I am grateful for the honor of successfully leading Operation Zur Israel, which resulted in the Aliyah of 2,000 sons and daughters to parents who have waited patiently in Israel for this reunion for many years. However, Israel’s mission to ensure the Aliyah of the remaining Jews in Ethiopia is not over. Let’s use this moving moment to remember that we have a duty to put an end to this painful saga,” said Tamano-Shata.
“Once the new government is established, I will ensure that this happens. I vow to be responsible for not abandoning those yearning for Aliyah and have demonstrated that we can and will bring them home.”