The first Ethiopians arrived in Israel in the 1980s. There are already two or even three generations of Ethiopians living in Israel. Of the 149,000 Ethiopians Beta community, almost 50,000 were born in Israel. Most arrived at Operation Salomon, that was an Israeli military operation in 1991 which brought many Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
A total of 34 EL-AL aircrafts and Hercules C-130s from Israeli air force - with seats removed to accommodate the maximum number of passengers, were used to transport 14,400 Jews from Addis Ababa to Israel. After 36 hours, and 41 trips, one record was broken - In May 24, 1087 refugees were allowed to board on a Boeing 747 from EL-AL, but additional children had been hidden under their mothers' dresses, and two babies were born on board.
They were officially recognized as Jews in 1973, by the Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. His ruling brought about a complete turnaround in attitudes of the government and the Jewish Agency.
The ingathering of exiles is prophesied in the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Today Jewish people from all over the world continue to return to Israel. Recently, the Israeli government approved a plan to allow nearly 400 Ethiopian Jews from the Falash Mura sect to immigrate to Israel.
Since Falash Mura converted to Christianity 200 years ago, the Interior Ministry does not consider them Jews, so they cannot emigrate under the Law of Return and must obtain special permission from the government to move to Israel.