(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday (Thursday), 20 April 2006, convened a ministerial discussion on the immigration to Israel of the Falashmura, ahead of the 26 April High Court of Justice hearing. Senior Government, Jewish Agency and American Joint Distribution Committee officials briefed ministers on the current situation.  Interim Prime Minister Olmert announced that he intends to hold a comprehensive discussion on the issue as soon as the new government is formed.

It will be recalled that since 2004, 8,383 members of the Falashmura community have arrived in Israel. The list of potential immigrants currently stands at 11,275; it is estimated that approximately 10% are ineligible to immigrate.