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March 11, 2021 11:44 am

Hundreds of Ethiopian Immigrants Land in Israel on Final Rock of Israel Rescue Flight

avatar by i24 News

Dignitaries, including Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog (center-right) and Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (center), welcome new Ethiopian immigrants at Ben Gurion Airport on March 11, 2021. Photo: Government Press Office/Jewish Agency.

i24 News – Ben Gurion International Airport witnessed scenes of joy Thursday as approximately 300 new Ethiopian immigrants arrived on the ninth and final “Rock of Israel” rescue flight.

The first flight landed in December, following the Israeli government’s approval for the Aliyah of 2,000 Jewish Ethiopians — many of whom had waited years to be reunited with family members who had managed to make the journey previously.

“The final Operation Zur Israel [“Rock of 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 Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog.

Aliyah and Integration Minister MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, who is Israel’s first Ethiopian-born lawmaker, was instrumental in partnering with the Jewish Agency to bring up to 2,000 members of Ethiopia’s Jewish community to Israel.

“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,” said Tamano-Shata.

“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,” she added.

The immigrants will enter quarantine in accordance with Israel’s regulations.

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