Covert operation reunites Yemenites in Israel

 The moment of joy when a father and son were reunited after a two-year separation

Two years ago, Point of No Return was puzzled by reports of Jews desperate to flee the civil war in Yemen stranded in Cairo, unable to join 21 others who had been spirited to Argentina by the Satmar sect. At the same time, the UK was refusing to admit them as refugees, despite the pleas of British MPs. Now the story can be told: yesterday the Jewish Agency managed to reunite, at Ben Gurion airport,  two sets of parents from Yemen with their 10 children, who were flown in from Argentina. The Jerusalem Post reports that it was a tricky, covert operation –  rescuing Jews in peril of their lives from Yemen, and their relatives from the clutches of the anti-Zionist Satmars. This leaves just 90 Jews  in Yemen, with some 45 holding out in rabbi Yahya Youssef‘s Sana’a compound, and the rest in Raida in the north. (Wth thanks: Ahuva)

The Jewish Agency on Wednesday night helped a group of 17 Jews to move to Israel
from Yemen, in a covert maneuver reminiscent of 1949-50’s Operation Magic
Carpet, the first mass aliya after the foundation of the state.

Citing
heightened security concerns and increasing tensions in Yemen, two sets of
parents were brought directly to Israel, along with 10 of their children who had
been living in Argentina.

The parents from Yemen waiting for their children to arrive from Argentina


Clip showing the families reunited (with thanks: Ahuva)

 

The immigrants landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and
were taken to an absorption center in the South.

Jewish Agency chairman
Natan Sharansky said: “Tonight we are privileged to engage in a mission that
combined the saving of lives, the reunification of a family and immigration to
Israel.

Behind the scenes of this operation lies the dedication and
expertise of the Jewish Agency and our partner organizations who all contributed
to the mission’s success.

“The Jewish Agency stands at the ready to bring
any Yemeni Jew who expresses interest in making aliya to Israel, and to help the
local community in any way possible,” Sharansky said.

The members of the
group had attempted to enter the United Kingdom with the hope of obtaining
refugee status. However, after leaving Yemen, they learned that they were denied
entry to the UK and would be brought to Argentina instead.

Ten of these
children (with Yahia Karni the father of six and and Haim Karni the father of
four) were on Wednesday’s flight to Israel.

Read article in full 

Walla! news article (Hebrew)

Haaretz: The children were brought out of Argentina ‘without the knowledge of their Satmar patrons’

 

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

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Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

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