Ethiopian Jews face more conflict in Israel

CBC News
Ethiopian Jews who fled their country recently seeking refuge in Israel are being forced to spend their first weeks living underground as rockets land in northern Israel.
Some of the recent arrivals are no strangers to conflict and violence as border wars and civil strife have gripped their native Ethiopia for much of the last half century.
Now, some of the new immigrants, who have come to Israel under a family reunion scheme, are coming face to face with more conflict.
A few hundred are being housed in a hostel in Tiberias, a town about 35 kilometres south of the Lebanese border.
The hostel houses about 250 immigrants and 100 of their children. They have been spending hours in the stifling hot underground concrete caverns.
They can't go very far — only to special indoor areas with no windows. No one goes outside.
Mothers carry their babies tied to their backs with blankets. To pass the time, staff teach some children Hebrew. On Fridays, the hostel holds a service to mark the Jewish Sabbath. Children sing Hebrew songs.
Yayesh Aitagl, who arrived with her husband and daughter 15 months ago, said she is scared, even though the staff at the hostel help by showing them what to do.
Her husband, Truye, worked as a driver in Ethiopia and confesses that he didn't expect this when he came to Israel.
"No, I didn't think it would like this," he said. "I am surprised, but I think it will all work out all right in the end. After all, it isn't targeted at us, we are only going through what all the Jewish people are going through."
Fanta Desaley, a mother of five, waited eight years in a camp in Ethiopia for the opportunity to emigrate. She arrived in Israel with her two youngest daughters at the end of June, two weeks before the conflict in south Lebanon erupted and rockets began to land.
"No, I am not frightened," she said. "Everyone is enduring the same thing. There was also fighting in Ethiopia and so I became used to it. I am strong and I am not afraid."
She has been given two rooms for herself and her daughters. Although it's simple accommodation, it has electricity and running water, which is more than she had in Ethiopia.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at11:52 PM


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