Following the recent rescue operation, Israel demonstrated its unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of its citizens and its strong ties with the Ethiopian Jewish community. Amid the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, Israel orchestrated the evacuation of approximately 200 individuals on August 10, 2023.
The rescued victims comprised Israeli citizens and local Ethiopian Jews from areas affected by the violence. The operation saw the safe extraction of 174 Israelis and Ethiopians eligible for immigration from Gondar.
This city, known for its vibrant Ethiopian Jewish community, has long been a connection point for those waiting to move to Israel. An additional 30 Israelis were also rescued from the capital city of Amhara, Bahir Dar, further underscoring Israel’s unwavering dedication to its people.
Four flights transported the evacuees to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, marking a significant step in their journey to their new home.
Citizens’ Safety Remains Paramount
In a press release, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stated that the rescued Israelis would remain in Addis Ababa for the time being. However, he emphasized that the nation will provide them with the necessary support and assistance as they decide whether to return to Israel or stay in Ethiopia.
Similarly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed similar views, stating that Israel’s commitment to its citizens’ safety transcends borders and distances. He expressed gratitude to all those involved in the operation and pledged a warm welcome for the new evacuees upon their arrival in Israel.
The successful rescue operation resulted from close cooperation between various entities, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Security Adviser, and the Jewish Agency. The Foreign Ministry played a pivotal role in orchestrating the operation and ensuring the safety and well-being of those rescued.
The Israeli Embassy in Ethiopia’s swift and effective action showcased the dedication of Israel’s diplomatic corps. This operation was not an isolated incident but rather the latest in the efforts to ensure the safety of Israelis in the region.
After discussions with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and other officials, Netanyahu authorized the operation in response to the escalating conflict. The task was executed after thoughtful planning, including the expansion of the Foreign Ministry’s situation room to incorporate members from the Jewish Agency and Ethiopian-descendant IDF soldiers who could effectively communicate with the residents.
Voices For Peace
The condition in Ethiopia’s Amhara area had worsened, leading to appeals for careful reevaluation of travel arrangements. The unrest in the region originated from efforts to dissolve local militia groups following the end of a two-year conflict in the nearby Tigray region.
Despite the difficulties caused by the conflict and ensuing state of emergency, Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Commission continues to advocate for peace. However, opposing political parties condemned the government’s management of the situation.