Jerusalem, 15 March 1998

FIRST GROUP OF FALASH MURA ARRIVING IN JERUSALEM

(Communicated by Ministry of Immigration and Absorption Spokesman)

The first group of Falash Mura immigrants from Ethiopia is arriving today

(Sunday) 15.3.98, from Ethiopia and will be temporarily settled at the caravan park at Givat ha-Matos, Jerusalem.

The Ministerial Committee on Absorption and Diaspora, headed by Minister of Industry and Trade Natan Sharansky and Minister of Immigration and Absorption Yuli Edelstein, decided in July 1997 to enable the immigration of 4000 Falash Mura, living in transit camps in Addis Ababa, to immigrate to Israel over the coming year.

1500 Falash Mura have since immigrated and been temporarily settled at the Hazrot Yosef caravan park in Akko. The Ministry of Immigration and Absorption has made intense efforts to find additional sites for the Falash Mura. Many local authorities refused to absorb the Falash Mura within their jurisdictions, despite efforts by the ministry to improve facilities, in particular in education. The ministry is pleased to state that the Jerusalem Municipality agreed to absorb 200 families at Givat ha-Matos and will, together with the ministry, help provide housing, education, health and employment services.

It should be noted, that besides the many efforts being made to absorb the Falash Mura arriving now, an intense effort is continuing to move Ethiopian immigrants from the caravan parks and dozens of families have been moved to permanent housing in the past months.