The Supreme Court on Monday finally agreed to hear a legal petition presented more than four years ago on behalf of some 300 Ethiopian families regarding government criteria and restrictions on the entry requirements of some Ethiopians with a maternal link to Judaism. In recent weeks, the Interior Ministry announced that it was planning to remove its personnel from the Ethiopian town of Gondar - where it currently processes the aliya applications of the country's remaining Falash Mura (Jews whose ancestors were forced to convert to Christianity more than a century ago) - sometime in January. In response, a coalition of local Ethiopian organizations and individual Ethiopian Israelis who still have family members in the African nation resubmitted the original petition calling for the state to include an additional 8,500 people who had been excluded from its official list of those allowed to make aliya. The case, which has bounced back and forth between the government and the Ethiopian organizations without ever receiving a hearing, is expected to be heard on January 13. The state is expected to give its official response several days prior to the Supreme Court hearing.