JERUSALEM (JTA) — The plight of Falash Mura will be resolved within a year, Israel’s interior minister promised.
Eli Yishai on Monday said the aliyah of the Falash Mura, Ethiopians who claim to be the descendants of Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity generations ago, will happen over the next year.
He made the remarks during an address to members of the Knesset State Comptroller’s Committee and the Committee for Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.
“The Interior Ministry together with the Jewish Agency for Israel will go back and finish this work as soon as possible,” Yishai pledged.
Some 8,700 Falash Mura are waiting for the Jewish Agency to complete eligibility checks. Many already have relatives living in Israel.
A resolution on the Falash Mura has been postponed or taken off the Knesset’s agenda for the past two months, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Israeli lawmaker Shlomo Molla, the first Ethiopian Knesset member, visited the Ethiopian capital Gondar in December and reported that those waiting for permission to make aliyah are living under poor conditions.
Some 75 Falash Mura were scheduled to arrive Tuesday night in Israel.