Over 300 Jews moved to Israel from Muslim states in 2009, AFP reports. Some 47 Jews fleeing persecution and unrest arrived in Israel from Yemen. Other reports say that this year another 60 moved to the US.
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Jewish immigration to Israel increased in 2009 by 17 per cent compared to the previous year, the first rise in a decade, the government said on Sunday.
According to figures presented by the Jewish Agency, the government body in charge of immigration, 16,244 people immigrated to Israel in 2009, whereas 13,869 had moved to the Jewish state the previous year. “We’ve recorded this year, for the first time in ten years, an increase in the number of immigrants,” the agency’s Chairman Nathan Sharansky told reporters.
Nearly half of the immigrants arrived from former Soviet states, with the rest came mostly from North and South America and Europe. Jewish Agency figures also showed that 331 Jews arrived in 2009 from Muslim states, including Turkey, Morocco and Yemen.
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According to Yeshiva World News: 'This year, the Jewish Agency boasts the immigration of 47 Jews from Yemen, 25 from Morocco, 13 from Tunisia, and 3 from Lebanon. She added there are even Jews who arrived from countries from which there is a marginal Jewish community. This would include 4 immigrants from Hong Kong, 3 from China, 3 from Japan, and 2 from Honduras. There were also immigrants from Kenya, Taiwan, and Madagascar.'