Israel flying emissaries out of Gondar amid ethnic violence

Latest reports reflect that the Jewish Agency emissaries are safe and sound in the Gondar airport, waiting for flight out.

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July 13, 2016 16:03
1 minute read.
Israelis of Ethiopian descent take part in a protest in Jerusalem calling on gov't to bring the rema

Israelis of Ethiopian descent take part in a protest in Jerusalem calling on gov't to bring the remaining members of their community living in Ethiopia, known as Falash Mura to settle in Israel, March 20, 2016. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Foreign Ministry and Jewish Agency moved a group of 23 Israeli young volunteers in Gondar to the local airport on Wednesday, awaiting a decision whether the ethnic strife there merits flying the group out of the region.

Violence between the Amhara and Tigray ethnic groups there led to 10 deaths on Tuesday, and as a result the group was moved to a secure building in the city, and from there to the airport.

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Some 6,000 Jews waiting to immigrate to Israel live in Gondar.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said that there is no decision to move them out as well. He said the Jews there are not in immediate danger, nor the focus of the tension.

In addition, there are an undetermined number of Israeli tourists believed to be in the region, but – as the situation on Wednesday started to calm down – there was no decision taken to attempt to locate or evacuate them Regarding the 23 volunteers, Nachshon said they were moved to the airport “to be on the safe side.” Afterward, he said, there will be a reassessment.

The volunteers are part of a Jewish Agency program called Project Ten, in which Israelis and young Jewish adults from the Diaspora work in a number of countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Mexico, and South Africa and Israel – on various agricultural, educational and health projects.

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