Israel to increase number of Ethiopian immigrants
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Israel to increase number of Ethiopian immigrants

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will increase the number of immigrants from Ethiopia for the next several months after bringing in many fewer than Ethiopian advocacy groups had expected.

Some 1,000 Falash Mura, Ethiopians whose ancestors converted from Judaism to Christianity, will be brought to Israel over the next four months, about 250 per month.

Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Jewish Agency, the Interior and Immigrant Absorption ministries, and Ethiopian immigrant advocacy organizations met Sunday night and arrived at the plan, Haaretz reported.

The Israeli government in October 2010 reportedly had agreed to bring in 200 Falash Mura each month for a year, and then the remaining of those eligible until the last 4,500 approved for immigration were in Israel by March 2014. About 110 have been arriving each month. The government has said it cut the number it was bringing due to dwindling available space in absorption centers.

The Ethiopians are waiting in a refugee camp in the Gondar province before coming to Israel. 

“The Jewish Agency is thrilled by this decision and will do everything in our power to bring this historic aliyah to its completion as quickly as possible," Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said in a statement.