Yemeni government officials have secretly deported a group of Yemeni Jews to Israel and intend to transfer more, Al Rai al Aam weekly newspaper reported Sunday.
About 70 Yemeni Jews were deported last week to Israel through an unnamed Yemeni merchant, the newspaper said. It added that more Jews were to be transferred.
The weekly quoted anonymous sources as saying that secret and high-level contacts between Yemen and Israel, in addition to "other parties," were continuing, so that another 300 Jewish people could be sent to Israel.
A 15-member Israeli delegation -- mostly Yemeni Jews from Jerusalem -- visited Yemen in March 2000, including rabbis, politicians, businessmen and journalists. The visit drew sharp criticism from Yemen's opposition parties, which regarded it as a step toward normalization between Yemen and Israel. The two countries do not have official relations.
According to Israeli reports, during the past few years, about 400 Jews have immigrated from Yemen to Israel, despite the official ban on emigration. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )