Jerusalem: Ethiopian-Israelis protest outside gov't ministries

With the Ethiopian civil war becoming more perilous, concerns have increased for the communities of Ethiopian Jews and descendants of Jews who remain in the country.

 Ethiopian-Israelis protest outside government buildings in Jerusalem, demanding that their relatives be rescues and brought to the country, on November 14, 2021. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ethiopian-Israelis protest outside government buildings in Jerusalem, demanding that their relatives be rescues and brought to the country, on November 14, 2021.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis gathered on Sunday outside of government ministry buildings on Kaplan Street in Jerusalem, demanding the rescue of their relatives left behind in Ethiopia, Israeli media reported.

The protest was held while the government was holding its weekly meeting.

The protesters held signs of their loved ones and called for an "Operation Solomon II" to bring them to Israel. 

They blamed the Interior Ministry and the rest of the government for dragging their feet and creating incessant hurdles.

Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White), who is herself Ethiopian, joined the demonstration and pledged to continue the struggle for as long as necessary.

Aliyah Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (credit: HAIM TZACH)Aliyah Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (credit: HAIM TZACH)

News out of Ethiopia and its ongoing civil war in recent weeks has been fearful, with accounts of war crimes by all sides, a severe threat of famine in the north and Tigrayan rebels fighting the federal government closing in on the capital Addis Ababa.  With rebels between 230 km. and 325 km. from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian government has called on residents of the capital to prepare to defend the city themselves, and has also begun to carry out forced conscription into the army.  With the situation so perilous, concerns have increased for the communities of Ethiopian Jews and descendants of Jews who remain in the country, with many Ethiopian-Israeli families becoming increasingly worried about the safety of their relatives.

Earlier this week, Tamano-Shata and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked held a meeting with senior security officials and decided to expedite the immigration to Israel of those who remain with valid claims for immigration. 

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this article.