Israel vows to take in 1,000 Falasha Jews from Ethiopia

By Abdul Raouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli government has consented to take in some 1,000 Falasha Jews from Ethiopia, according to a Monday statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

"As part of the decision, [Falasha] parents will be able to bring with them their spouses and unmarried children [from Ethiopia]," the statement read.

Israel’s Interior Ministry, it added, would provide all incoming Falashas with "all the rights typically granted to Ethiopian immigrants”.

According to the PM’s office, the move is based on a 2006 government decision calling for the “reunification” of Falasha families from Addis Ababa and the city of Gondar, where most of Ethiopia’s Falasha community is concentrated.

In 2003, Tel Aviv decided to allow Falashas — whom Israel deems to be authentically Jewish — to immigrate to the self-proclaimed Jewish state, where they now number roughly 130,000.