JERUSALEM (JTA) — Immigration to Israel rose by 18 percent in the Jewish year 5770, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Figures released Monday by the agency showed that 17,880 immigrants arrived in Israel in 5770. Some 15,180 new immigrants had come to the Jewish state the previous year.
About 7,430 new immigrants in 5770 came from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a rise of 16 percent from the 6,340 of last year.
Some 5,130 new immigrants came from English-speaking countries, up from 5,030. The total includes 3,350 from the United States, up from 3,120; 380 from Canada, down from 460 last year; 260 from South Africa, down from 350; 65 from Holland, up from 45; 50 from Scandinavia, up from 30; and 220 from Australia and New Zealand, up from 175.
“Aliyah is a strategic asset for Israel," said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. "The rise in aliyah is even more impressive because of the deligitimization campaign against Israel happening around the world.”
There were 2,420 new immigrants from all of Western Europe, up from 2,090 last year, including 2,020 from France, 190 from Belgium, 100 from Italy and 110 from Switzerland. The number also rose from Latin America, with 1,360 immigrants, up from 1,230.
Some 1,320 new immigrants arrived from Ethiopia, the pace of their aliyah determined by the Israeli government.
New immigrants also arrived from Thailand, Hong Kong, New Caledonia, Japan, Tunisia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Angola and Uganda.