Ethiopian Jews on hunger strike over move to Israel

By ARGAW ASHINE NATION Correspondent, 27 December 2010 |
Thousands of Ethiopian Jews started a hunger strike on Monday to appeal to the Israeli Government to end their suffering due to delayed repatriation to their dreamland.

Jewish community coordinators told the Nation their members’ living conditions are inhumane and many died due to communicable diseases.

Some 2,500 members started the hunger strike on Monday and the strike is to continue until the Israeli Government responds.

Mr Tadesse Arefeayne, one of the strike coordinators, said the Israeli Government ignored their repeated plea after they moved to Addis Ababa from Gondar, their homeland in northern Ethiopia, 700 kilometres from Addis.

Some 6,000 Ethiopian Jews (Felasha-Mura’s) have spent nearly one decade near the Israeli embassy in Addis Ababa seeking easy travel arrangement, which was promised by the Israeli Government.

“After sleeping on the streets and suffering from hunger for decades they told us go back to your home,” Mr Tadesse said. According to Mr Tadesse, any repatriation that splits the family will be dangerous.

Last month, the Israeli Government endorsed a Bill to repatriate only the last 8,000 Ethiopian Jews and announced no more repatriation.

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