Ethiopia: Israel Halts Students' Trip to Ethiopia


The State of Israel has put a break on a popular student trip to Ethiopia citing "possible threats," to the safety of its citizens.

"Following warnings against travelling to Africa by the Foreign Office, the Israeli government has decided not to send any student missions to Ethiopia at this stage," the country's education ministry announced.

This came about after the accidental death of a student last year in Afar's Danakil area and general threats that have engulfed the nation.

In another news, two of the members of its Kensset, Gadi Yevarkan, Ethiopian Israeli, has shifted from the moderate Blue and White Party to that of the right leaning, Likud Party, headed by current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanayahu. This occurred after he was placed last among its candidates, meaning his chances in the upcoming election had become slim. In return, the Likud Party offered to place him as its 20th placed candidate, guaranteeing his return.

A champion of various Ethiopian causes, Yevarkan was credited for bringing needed support to the new party. Once a supporter of the Likud, Yevarkan shifted his support to the new party, having felt the party was ignoring the plights and issues of Ethio-Israelis.

Israel is said to be disappointed over Ethiopia's non-committal support to the transfer of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has visited the nation last year and was warmly welcomed.

Ethiopia and Israel enjoy a historic and long-standing partnership founded on Judaism as well as development. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews were transported to Israel the mid 1980's and early 1990's.

However, there continues to be struggles for its minority Israel population to integrate into the mainstream Israeli society. Police brutality, accusations of racism and poverty are some of the issues faced by Ethiopian Israelis.

The other Ethiopian born member of the Kensset is, Pnina Tamano-Shata, like her colleague, was first elected less than a year ago and will contest the election under the Blue and Black Party.

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