The next phase of Ethiopian immigration, 43 out of a total of almost 400 people, is set to begin next week, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a campaign crowd in Rishon LeTzion on Tuesday evening.
“I believe that the first plane will be on its way already next week,” he said.
The cabinet approved the measure, which will reunite many Ethiopians with family already living in Israel, over the objections of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who expressed concern that it could be interpreted as a political stunt, given the timing, about two weeks before the March 2 election. Likud has been making a concerted effort to attract Ethiopian voters.
The ministers of Absorption and Communications are reportedly to fly to Ethiopia to escort the group to Israel.