17 Yemenite Jews make aliyah to Israel in secret

Seventeen Jews from Yemen were brought to Israel in a secret operation on Monday, making aliyah. “Aliyah”, or “to rise” in Hebrew, refers to Jewish immigration to the State of Israel.

It is illegal for Jews from Yemen to immigrate to Israel, all operations conducted to bring Yemenite Jews to Israel carried out by the Jewish Agency in cooperation with Israeli security agencies.

Jews suffer persecution and anti-Semitism in Yemen, the option to make aliyah unimaginable for the small Jewish communities still trapped in Yemen. Just last year a Jewish woman was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and married to a Muslim. There have been numerous cases of attacks, abuse and even murder for Yemen’s small Jewish community.

Over 51,000 Jews from Yemen have immigrated to the State of Israel since 1948, majority arriving during Operation Magic Carpet in 1949-1950. According to the Jewish Agency, over 50 Jews still remain in Yemen.

Of the seventeen immigrants who arrived to Israel on Monday one is the community’s rabbi who came to Israel with a 600 year old Torah.

Jews who immigrate to Israel are absorbed and provided homes and programs to assist in integration to the Jewish State.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, March 22, 2016.