Israel to Expedite Immigration
of Ethiopian Jews
On June 14, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of his cabinet to discuss expediting the immigration of the approximately 3,500 Ethiopian Jews in Kwara. Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia Ariel Kerem has warned that an airlift of these Jews might upset the Ethiopian government and suggested that a more discreet operation could avoid this problem. Outgoing Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon was appointed to lead the effort to bring the Kwara Jews to Israel. On June 15, he met with Ethiopia's Ambassador to Israel, Zewde Otoro, to discuss the matter as well as bilateral relations.
In the meantime, the Israeli government is sending medical aid and food to the Jews in Kwara.
Sources: Arutz 7 Israel National Radio, (June 14, 1999), Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) (June 14, 1999) and the Israeli Government Press Office (June 15, 1999)