Deal Struck to Expedite Ethiopian Immigration

Ethiopian Jews mark the holiday of Sigd in Yerushalayim, Nov. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Israeli officials are working on a plan to expedite the immigration of 5,000 Ethiopians from the war-torn country, according to media reports.

Immigration Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked met on Tuesday to defuse a fracas in which the former had reportedly threatened to quit the coalition if action were not taken.

An agreement was struck to accelerate the process of bringing those who have first-degree relatives in Israel and were eligible to immigrate under a 2015 government decision, under which 9,000 people would be brought to Israel.

The urgency of such an emergency rescue operation was thrown into doubt, however, by leaks on Sunday of a classified document compiled by the National Security Council which questioned Jewish identity of the remaining Ethiopians and to what extent they are actually in danger.