Aliya from western countries increases in 2005

In 2005, immigration from western countries to Israel rose drastically in comparison to previous years, new data released by the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry indicated. 3,000 immigrants from the United States and Canada arrived in Israel in 2005- a 15% increase from 2004. The number of French immigrants - 2,980 - constituted the greatest amount of immigrants from that country since 1971. Only 453 British Jews, however, chose to make the move to Israel. According to the data, for the first time since the onset of the intifada, the negative trend in the number of immigrants arriving in Israel was reversed in 2005, as approximately 23,000 people overall made their way to Israel and received citizenship. Additionally, an increase was reported in the number of Israelis who had left Israel to live elsewhere and were returning to re-establish themselves in Israel. On Wednesday, an airplane was set to bring 220 new immigrants from the US and Canada, the last scheduled arrivals of a banner year for immigration.