A delegation of Israelis, including three members of the parliament, or Knesset, are leaving for Ethiopia today.
The 13 strong delegation plan to travel to Gondar, to provide aid for two hospitals damaged by the recent fighting, explained Maria Youssim, project manager for the Society for International Development Israel (SID Israel).
The relief effort was the brainchild of Likud MK Gadi Yevarkan. He will lead the mission together with Labor MK Emilie Moati and MK Vladimir Beliak from Yesh Atid.
“Israel is a good friend of the Ethiopian people,” Yevarkan, who was born in Ethiopia, said hours before the trip. “Ethiopians are very supportive of Israel; they know Judaism came before Christianity, and they have towns named after Biblical sites in Israel, like the Mount of Olives and Nazareth.”
Helping Ethiopia is “also in Israel’s interest,” the MK said, “because it is one of the most important countries in Africa, where the headquarters of the African Union are located. In Africa, Ethiopia represents independence and victory over the West.”
Not travelling to Tigray
But the delegation will not visit Tigray. Maria Youssim told Eritrea Focus. “We cannot get into Tigray, but we hope to link up with their hospitals by Zoom,” she explained.
Gadi Yevarkan, a former Israeli Deputy Internal Security Minister has previously spoken out against the Tigrayans, blaming them for the conflict.
In December 2021 he said: “Ethiopia is a strong ally to the US and the State of Israel. I appeal to you and to the United States Administration, to take a decisive action to prevent the suffering of the people by demanding the opposition to stop the violence.”