JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 400 immigrants from France are coming to Israel amid rocket fire on their new home country.
The two chartered flights organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption are set to arrive Wednesday evening, where the new olim, mostly from Paris and its suburbs, will be welcomed in a special ceremony. The new immigrants include 18 babies and 195 children and teens.
Some 60 of the new immigrants will move to the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, which have been under regular bombardment by rockets fired from Gaza. More than 100 will reside in Tel Aviv and the center of the country, 130 in Netanya and about 50 in Jerusalem.
None of the immigrants scheduled to arrive have canceled due to the current rocket fire on the country, according to the Jewish Agency.
“Every immigrant who arrives in Israel strengthens us as a people, and this is all the more so when it comes to the growing aliyah from France,” Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver said in a statement.
France, notably the Paris region, has seen an elevated level of anti-Semitic attacks in recent months and more dramatically in recent weeks. The Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency recently implemented a plan to encourage aliyah from France and ease French Jews’ integration into Israeli society.
More than 5,000 French Jews are expected to immigrate to Israel by the end of 2014, up from 3,289 in 2013 and 1,917 in 2012. Some 2,600 French Jews arrived in Israel during the first six months of this year.