For the first time in over two decades, a planeload of Jews from Ethiopia is scheduled to arrive in Israel this weekend.

In November 2015, the Israeli government approved the aliyah of 9,000 Ethiopian Jews after a halt in immigration from the African country for two decades. The first group of 64 among 1,300 approved this year is scheduled to arrive Sunday evening at Ben-Gurion Airport.

The immigrants are mostly being united with family already in Israel.

Ethiopia is currently experiencing an upsurge of violent anti-government protests, particularly in the Oromo and Amhara regions. Gondar, in the Amhara region, is home to the Ethiopian Jewish community.

“According to Amnesty International, at least 100 people have been killed in protests this summer, and Ethiopian authorities have arrested human rights activists and journalists, both local and international. The government has shut down internet access for all or part of the country in an effort to hinder protest organizers ability to amass large crowds,” Times of Israel reported.

In a related historic development, two female Ethiopian-Israeli lawyers were appointed as judges last week. Adenko Sebhat-Haimovich was named to the magistrates’ court, and Esther Tapeta Gardi to the traffic court.

By: United with Israel Staff

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