Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
Olim from Ethiopia arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport. Nov. 29, 2020

As the United States is doing, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has begun to evacuate the families of diplomats stationed in Ethiopia, according to a report Saturday night by the Hebrew-language Walla! News site.

The move comes in response to an escalation in fighting between Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan rebels.

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said during a news conference on Saturday evening that he is in touch with other heads of state to “closely examine what is happening in Ethiopia.”
Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, whose family emigrated to Israel from Ethiopia, sent an official missive to Bennett last Wednesday urging him to fast-track aliyah to Israel from Ethiopia due to the rising civil war.

A travel advisory is also in effect, urging Israeli citizens to avoid visiting Ethiopia.

“The Foreign Ministry recommends that Israeli citizens residing in Ethiopia end their stay in the country due to civil unrest, disruption of movement and access to communications,” a ministry communique read, adding that there may also be disruption of departures by plane.

Although Israeli diplomats are continuing to carry out their duties in the country, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Hayat said in a statement that “aside from the uncertainty and a possible deterioration of the situation, some families are returning to Israel.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.