300 Ethiopian immigrants land in Israel Dec 04, 2020 0 384 12345 AFP Tel AvivMore than 300 Ethiopians landed in Israel on Thursday after the government approved immigration plans for 2,000 members of their Falash Mura community, whose desire to move to the Jewish state has stirred controversy. The Falash Mura are descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity -- many under duress -- in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are not recognised as Jews by Israel’s Orthodox rabbinical authorities, but claim the right to immigrate under family reunification rules.The government approved about 9,000 claimants in 2015 but then rescinded the decision the following year, citing budgetary constraints.Some groups in Israel, including members of the Ethiopian community, have opposed immigration of the Falash Mura, citing doubts over their claim to be Jewish.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has become a vocal supporter of Falash Mura immigration, was on hand at the airport to greet the first group of 316 arrivals. “Dear brothers and sisters of ours, immigrants from Ethiopia, we are so moved to welcome you here,” Netanyahu told the new immigrants, according to a government statement. The remaining roughly 1,700 Falash Mura Ethiopians are expected to arrive by the end of January, according to the immigration plan approved by Netanyahu’s cabinet in October.The bulk of Ethiopia’s Jewish community was brought to the country between 1984 and 1991 under the Law of Return, which guarantees Israeli citizenship to all Jews.The Ethiopian-Israeli community has since grown to 140,000-strong, including 50,000 born in Israel.Many say they faced racial discrimination, notably abuse by Israel’s police. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Indian superstar Rajinikanth enters politics Dec 04, 2020 0 424 Pakistan’s ex-PM Zafarullah Khan Jamali dies, aged 76 Dec 04, 2020 0 371 Iran surpasses 1 mn virus cases with over 49k deaths Dec 04, 2020 0 427 Azerbaijan says 2,783 soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting Baku: Azerbaijan said on Thursday that nearly 2,800 of its soldiers were killed in recent fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, the first details it has released of military losses in weeks of clashes with Armenian forces. .. Iran postpones execution of Iranian-Swedish academic, says wife Stockholm: The planned execution of Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali, who was sentenced to death in Iran three years ago for spying, has been postponed, his wife said on Thursday. Vida Mehran Nia told AFP she .. Famine could hit nearly 50,000 people in Yemen in 2021: UN agencies Rome: Nearly 50,000 people in war-torn Yemen could be affected by famine in the next six months, three United Nations agencies warned on Thursday. “Pockets of famine-like conditions [...] have already returned for the .. Indian teacher wins UNESCO’s $1 mn global teaching prize AFP London An Indian teacher was on Thursday named the winner of a $1 million prize for his work transforming the lives of young girls in a rural village. Ranjitsinh Disale was announced the winner of the Global Teacher ..