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Immigration and ingathering of the exiles  
 
 
Classified telegram to Addis Ababa, sent from Jerusalem and containing orders for Operation Solomon, the covert transport of 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in just a day and a half
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April 15 1991,
Classified telegram containing orders for Operation Solomon, to transport Ethiopian Jews to Israel The various Israeli attempts to rescue the Jews of Ethiopia began in the 1970s. These were all covert operations, and many difficulties were encountered. From November 1984 through January 1985, some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel, as part of a concentrated campaign known as "Operation Moses." This operation was terminated as soon as its existence was leaked to the press, when it was revealed that the transport involved passage through Sudanese territory. The sudden termination of the operation resulted in the splitting of many families between Ethiopia and Israel. It also led to a deterioration in the plight of all those stranded in Africa. With the renewal of diplomatic ties between Israel and Ethiopia, starting in September 1987, immigrant camps were established in Addis Ababa, and Israeli authorities took measures to improve the living conditions of the people there. In May 1991, rebels fighting against the regime of President Mengistu Haile Mariam were beginning to take control of Ethiopia, and in Israel there were growing concerns regarding the fate of the Jews during and after the overthrow. In a lightning operation that took less than 36 hours, 15,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel. This came immediately after the Israelis were given approval for such an operation from the Mengistu regime; Mengistu himself had already fled the country by then. As the classified telegram with the "Operation Order" suggests, the operation was handled like a military campaign, with the full cooperation and participation of the IDF.
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National State Archives, א-5144/13
 
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