WATCH: Hundreds of Ethiopian migrants land at Ben Gurion Airport
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WATCH: Hundreds of Ethiopian migrants land at Ben Gurion Airport

It was the ninth and final flight as part of the Operation Rock of Israel plan to bring 2,000 olim to the country

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Israel has welcomed hundreds of migrants from Ethiopia as part of a wider operation to accept 2,000 members of country’s Jewish community.

Nearly 300 olim landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday on the ninth and final flight of Operation Rock of Israel, which was launched last December.

Among those welcoming the new arrivals was Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Minister, and Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog.

“This is a moment that tugs at the heartstrings, reminding us that our mission to bring the remaining members of the community waiting to make Aliyah is far from over,” Herzog said.

Over half of the arrivals in the operation are under the age of 24, including 893 children.

Tamano-Shata, herself the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a seat in Israel’s Knesset, said her country’s mission to ensure the Aliyah of Ethiopia’s remaining Jews was not over.

The flight was welcomed with flags and face masks (Photo: Jewish Agency)

“Let’s use this moving moment to remember that we have a duty to put an end to this painful saga,” she said.

“Once the new government is established, I will ensure that this happens. I vow to be responsible for not abandoning those yearning for Aliyah and have demonstrated that we can and will bring them home.”

The migrants were all taken into quarantine under Israeli regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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