Foreign Ministry evacuates Israeli diplomats' families from Ethiopia

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry issued on Thursday a travel warning to Ethiopia, due to the state of emergency in the country.

 A burned tank stands near the town of Adwa, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021 (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
A burned tank stands near the town of Adwa, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

The Foreign Ministry began evacuating the families of Israeli diplomats from Ethiopia on Saturday, Hebrew media reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat said Israeli diplomats were staying at the embassy in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

This evacuation follows the recent escalation in Ethiopia in the year-long conflict between Tigrayan forces and the Ethiopian military.

According to reports, rebel forces intended to occupy the capital, home to a large number of Ethiopian Jews.

The recent security issues that are taking place in the country raise questions about the fate of those who plan on immigrating to Israel, Maariv reported.

  Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at the foreign ministry in Rabat, Morocco, August 11, 2021.  (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO) Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at the foreign ministry in Rabat, Morocco, August 11, 2021. (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO)

Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata sent a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last week begging for an urgent discussion, with the aim of promoting Ethiopian-Jewish immigration to Israel.

The Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning on Thursday to Ethiopia, due to the state of emergency in the country. “Israeli citizens residing in Ethiopia should exercise vigilance and be regularly updated on the progress of the fighting in the country in general and the situation in the capital in particular,” the Foreign Ministry said.

It was also reported that there may be disruptions and restrictions on flights, traffic and access to communication and availability of products in the African country over the next few days.

A joint investigation by the UN and an Ethiopian human rights team concluded that all sides have tortured and killed civilians, carried out gang rapes, and have arrested people solely based on their ethnicity.

The war between the two sides started over a year ago when Tigrayan soldiers in the national army seized control of military bases across Tigray.

Reuters contributed to this report.