TEL AVIV (Jan. 5)
Ethiopia put about 20 Jews on trial last month for their involvement in attempting to immigrate to Israel, Israeli Immigration and Absorption Minister Yaacov Tsur said Monday.
His comments were reported in the newspaper Maariv, which added that nothing more is known of their fate. Tsur said that most of the defendants had worried relatives in Israel.
A spokesperson for the American Association for Ethiopian Jews in Chicago said Tuesday that 14 Jews are in Ethiopian jails for attempting to immigrate to Israel or aid others’ immigration. Their trial had been rumored to begin for the past month, but as of two days ago an Ethiopian source knew of no such trial, the spokesperson added.
An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Jews remain in Ethiopia and are prohibited from emigrating.