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Jewish Agency Confirms Thousands of Falashas Are in Israel

The Jewish Agency confirmed today for the first time that thousands of Falashas — Ethiopian Jews — are in Israel. According to data released by its immigration and absorption department, about a quarter of Ethiopian Jewry now lives in Israel, more than half of them under 18 and only five percent over 60 years of age.

This information was disclosed after reporters were taken on a tour of absorption centers in northern Israel by Haim Aharon, head of the immigration and absorption department. Aharon said the Agency changed its policy of not publicizing the Falasha presence in response to what he said were unfounded media reports about problems of Falasha immigrants.