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Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Israel to reopen Ethiopian Jews file

Israel has announced that it will re-examine claims by some 20,000 Ethiopians who say they are Jewish and therefore want to emigrate to Israel.

Tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews -- known locally as Falashas -- were flown to Israel nearly twenty years ago, under its policy of granting residency to all Jews worldwide.

But many Ethiopians had their applications turned down then because of doubts over whether they were really Jewish.

The Israeli Interior Minister, Natan Sharansky, who's in Ethiopia on a fact-finding mission, said the process of checking applications would be accelerated, but that not everyone who wanted to come to Israel would be allowed to.

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