JERUSALEM, Israel – Nearly 300 new immigrants from Ethiopia landed in Israel on Thursday. They were the last flight of “Operation Zur Israel,” a government effort launched in December to bring 2,000 members of the Ethiopian community to the Jewish State.
It was an emotional experience for the Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata, who led the operation with The Jewish Agency for Israel.
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“Four months in which I received a plane after a plane that brought home to Israel 2000 immigrants. So many touching, painful and unimaginable stories. A lot of parents that we managed to stop the tears. This morning the tears were mine,” she said in a statement on Facebook.
“The final Operation Zur Israel flight arrived today reuniting countless families after far too many years apart. 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,” said Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s executive committee. “I'm also thankful to the generous donors and partners who came together to bring these 2,000 new immigrants to Israel over the course of the past few months.”
The immigrants immediately went in to quarantine upon arrival.
"This is a journey that is well underway, but far from complete. I am grateful for the honor of successfully leading Operation Zur Israel, which resulted in the Aliyah of 2,000 sons and daughters to parents who have waited patiently in Israel for this reunion for many years. However, Israel’s mission to ensure the Aliyah of the remaining Jews in Ethiopia is not over. Let’s use this moving moment to remember that we have a duty to put an end to this painful saga,” said Tamano-Shata.
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