Israeli group brings 17 Yemini Jews to Israel

AP News
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Posted: Aug 15, 2013 3:19 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A semi-governmental Israeli organization says it has brought 17 Yemini Jews to Israel, secretly helping them escape the political unrest in their Arab homeland.

Jewish Agency official Ariel Di Porto says the "airlift was clandestine" because Yemen and Israel share no diplomatic ties. She says the Yemeni Jews arrived in Israel on Wednesday evening.

Di Porto says two couples and a child arrived through a third country while the rest of the two families' children arrived from Argentina, where a Hasidic Jewish community had sheltered them for the past two years.

About 150 Yemini Jews have moved to Israel since 2009 amid threats from al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen.

The organization says less than 90 Jews live in Yemen, half of them in a guarded compound in the capital of Sanaa.