Ethiopian immigrants demonstrated outside the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in Jerusalem on Monday, March 12, amid budget discussions. The immigrants were demanding the government fulfill its pledge to allow thousands of Ethiopian immigrants into the country. Activists claim that funding of Ethiopian immigration is not currently included in the 2019 budget. The budget package will be debated in the Knesset and voted on later this week. Further demonstrations are possible until the budget is finalized.
In 2015, the Israeli government promised to bring 8000 Ethiopian immigrants into the country, many of whom have close relatives in Israel. While many of the immigrants have Jewish roots, Israel does not consider them Jewish, meaning they need government approval to immigrate. Since the 2015 agreement, the Israeli government has not authorized any funding for the relocation.
Individuals in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, are advised to remain vigilant, monitor the situation via local media, and avoid any form of public demonstration or public gathering due to the risk of violence.