Yemenite Jews arrive in Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ten new immigrants from Yemen arrived in Israel.

Among the new immigrants arriving Thursday in a special operation of the Jewish Agency is Said Ben Yisrael, one of the heads of the Jewish community in the city of Raida, where local Jews are facing anti-Semitic harassment.

Ben Yisrael, who came with his wife and seven children, has suffered death threats; a grenade was thrown into his courtyard several weeks ago. The family will settle in Beit Shemesh.

The operation was carried out in cooperation with the Yemenite Jewish Federation of America.

Approximately 280 Jews are now living in Yemen — 230 in Raida and about 50 in the capital of Sana’a. Many Jews fled Sana’a about a year ago due to harassment by a group connected to al-Qaida.

Anti-Semitism, fomented by Muslim extremists, has increased in Yemen in recent years. The tension reached a climax last December when Moshe Yaish Nahari, a father of nine, was murdered by a Muslim extremist. A verdict against his alleged murderer is scheduled to be handed down March 2, according to reports. 

Eli Cohen, director-general of the Jewish Agency’s Aliyah and Absorption Department, said the Jewish Agency is working to bring to Israel quickly most of the Jews in Yemen who wish to immigrate. The new immigrants will receive special assistance from the Jewish Agency, including a grant of nearly $10,000 per family.

Recommended from JTA