Jerusalem, July 26, 2003

Jewish Agency flies six Iraqi Jews to Israel in Operation Ezra Mi-Zion
(Communicated by the Jewish Agency for Israel Comunications and Information Unit)

In a special humanitarian operation dubbed "Ezra Mi-Zion" (‘Help from Zion’), spearheaded by the Jewish Agency, six Jews from Iraq were brought to Israel late Friday afternoon, 25 July.

As a result of the Jewish Agency’s efforts to monitor the conditions and needs of the Jews in Iraq, it became evident that there was a need to undertake an urgent humanitarian operation.

Responding the explicit wishes of six Baghdadi Jews, the Jewish Agency, in coordination with the Prime Minister’s Office and other relevant bodies in Israel and abroad (including HIAS), decided to bring these Jews to Israel as soon as possible.

To do this, the Jewish Agency chartered a special civil aircraft, which flew them to Israel.

Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor praised those involved in the operation and said, "The Jewish Agency will continue as always to so everything in its power to assist Jews in distress, wherever they may in the world."

The newly-arrived Jews from Iraq met with their relatives in Israel and are currently receiving medical attention as required.

The names of the Iraqi Jews whom the Jewish Agency brought to Israel are Ezra Sallah Levi (70), Mr. Sasson Sallah Abdul (90), Mrs. Naima Eliyahu Hallali, (99) and her daughter Hatun Hayim Dayan (70), Mrs. Salima Nissim Shemesh (70) and Mr. Meir Zubeyda (39).