Airlift of Ethiopian Falashmura to Israel Postponed

A flight of 170 Falashmura was unable to depart Tuesday due to an air transit disagreement between Israel and Ethiopia.

An operation to bring 7,846 descendents of Ethiopian Jews to Israel has been unexpectedly canceled at the last minute.

Israel approved a proposal in November to allow the immigration of this group, known as Falashmura, and was set to begin the operation on Tuesday. Haaretz learned however, that the first two flights would not depart on schedule due to an air transit disagreement between Israel and Ethiopia.

 Falashmura- Anshel Pfeffer
Falashmura at the Gondar transit camp in Ethiopa in 2008. Anshel Pfeffer

The Ethiopians were to be flown to Israel by Turkish airlines. Israel had initially brokered a deal with Ethiopian airlines, but it fell through when the airline raised ticket prices.

Ethiopian flight authorities have barred the Turkish Airlines plane from landing on their territory.