Middle East Monitor / October 12, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared he is planning to move 2,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, local media reported.
“I updated [Ethiopian] Prime Minister Abiy [Ahmed] that I intend to immediately bring some 2,000 people from Addis Ababa and Gondar, as part of our commitment to continuing the Aliyah of Jews to Israel,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
In response, the Ethiopian PM told Netanyahu that the move “symbolises the special relationship between the peoples [of the two countries].”
A statement posted on the Twitter account of Netanyahu’s office said: “The Ethiopian Prime Minister congratulated us on the historic peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.” Adding that Netanyahu was “Leading a historic move that only future generations will understand the magnitude of the act and its full positive consequences,” according to the Tweet.
Israel Hayom said that Netanyahu has been pledging to move the remainder of Ethiopia’s Jewish community to Israel, noting that there are about 13,000 Ethiopian Jews who wish to move to Israel and who have relatives there.
Over 145,000 Jews of Ethiopian descent are currently in Israel.
On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.
Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however denied this saying annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.
Weeks later Bahrain announced that it had come to a similar deal with the occupation state.
Both Gulf states signed the agreements with Israel on the White House lawn on 15 September.