Jewish Yemenite family arrives in Israel after secret rescue
Jewish Agency: The family suffered from anti-Semitic attacks and was threatened by al-Qaida.
A small group of Yemenite Jews arrived in Israel on Thursday in a covert operation carried out by the Jewish Agency.
The Agency's Spokesman Michael Jankelowitz refused to say how the 10 people were rescued, citing security concerns, but said they had been threatened by al-Qaida.
The Ben Yisrael family was extricated from the city of Raida, after suffering from anti-Semitic attacks and repeated death threats.
A few weeks ago, a grenade was thrown into the courtyard of the family's home in Raida, possibly by al Qaida-affiliated extremists.
Said Ben Yisrael, who heads the Raida Jewish community, and his family are due to take up Israeli citizenship upon their arrival. They will be taken to Beit Shemesh, accompanied by a Jewish Agency team.
There are approximately 280 Jews left today In Yemen, 230 of whom live in Raida in the Omran province, and another 50 Jews live in the capital city of Sana'a.
Yemenite Jews have the special protection of the President of Yemen Ali Abdallah Salah. In recent years, however, anti-Semitic attacks against Jews have spiralled out of control.
The tension reached a boiling point last December, when Moshe Yaish Nahari, father of 9, was murdered by a Muslim extremist.
Threats against Jews in Yemen have escalated following Israel's recent three-week offensive in Gaza.
Director General of the Jewish Agency, Moshe Vigdor, said that the Jewish Agency is closely following the situation of the community in Yemen and promises to help in any way possible.
Director-General of the Jewish Agency's Aliyah and Absorption Department Eli Cohen said that the Jewish Agency strives to ensure the safety of community members and that it is working to bring to Israel quickly most of the Jews in Yemen who wish to immigrate. The new immigrants will receive special assistance from the Jewish Agency, including a grant of 40,000 shekels per family.