The agency said: “Nineteen individuals arrived in Israel in recent days, including 14 from the town of Raydah and a family of five from Sanaa”.
Yemen and Israel do not have any existing diplomatic ties. The country has descended into a civil war with Shiite Houthi rebels battling Sunni Arab forces of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur, backed by the air power of a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf states.
After arriving at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, the rescued Yemenite Jews boarded buses to the immigration centre in Be’er Sheva in southern Israel, where family members who had already moved to Israel greeted them.
Of the group that emigrated to Israel, one Yemeni Jew was the rabbi of the Jewish community in the city of Raydah, also serving as its kosher slaughterer, who brought a 600-year-old Torah with him to Israel. Israel’s Channel Two news station reported that the U.S. helped to coordinate the handover of the group from Yemen to Israel.
CNN has reported that one of the group, Sulaiman al-Dahari came with his family, who had lived far away from the civil war, but escaped Yemen’s crumbling economy: “The situation there is mixed between fear and poverty. The economic situation is bad. I feel comfortable here in Israel”.
The agency said that the conflict, coupled with anti-Semitism, left the country’s remaining Jews in danger, however the final 50 Jews in the country decided that they wish to stay.
Approximately 40 of those live in the capital, Sana’a, near the U.S. embassy compound under the protection of Yemeni forces.