Sixty-three immigrants from Ethiopia have made their long-awaited arrival in Israel, the first immigrants to arrive from the country in the past three years.

The newcomers received a warm welcome, being surrounded by family members from the Ethiopian-Israeli community after they touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday night.

There are currently 9,000 Ethiopians of Jewish descent who are in Ethiopia awaiting their opportunity to make Aliyah to Israel. From this point forward around 100 of them will be brought into the country each month.

It was last November that the Israeli Knesset overwhelmingly approved a plan to bring Ethiopian Jews home. It followed a public campaign launched by Israel’s Ethiopian community and other volunteer organisations. Funding for the project was agreed in April this year.

Today around 135,000 Jews of Ethiopian descent are living in Israel. It is encouraging to know that the day will come when they will all be united in Israel.