In Yemen, almost all Jews have left the country. The last group was brought to Israel on Sunday night as part of a secret operation, the Jewish Agency, which is responsible for immigration, said Monday in Jerusalem.
Its leader Nathan Sharansky spoke of the "end of a historic mission". Since the founding of the State of Israel, 51 people have migrated, according to the data.000 Yemeni Jews emigrated there, nearly 50.000 of them about the "flying carpet" operation in 1949 and 1950.
In recent years, some 200 Jews have been "rescued" from Yemen without fuss, according to the Jewish Agency. Under the impression of growing attacks on the Jewish community, the measures have been intensified in recent months, he said. According to the organization, the last group consisted of 19 people, 14 of them from the once Jewish mountain town of Raida, who left with their rabbi and a Torah scroll that was 500 to 600 years old. The remaining five people were a family from the capital Sanaa.
An estimated 50 Jews still in the country
The number of Jews remaining in Yemen is estimated by the Jewish Agency at 50. 40 of them lived in Sanaa in a closed complex next to the U.S. Embassy and under special protection of the authorities.
According to the Jewish Agency, anti-Semitic attacks in Yemen had increased sharply since 2008. At that time, a Jewish teacher was murdered in Raida. In 2012, a young Jewish woman was kidnapped in Sanaa and forcibly married to a Muslim, according to reports; the same year, a murder occurred in Sanaa of an elderly Jew, the father of the husband of the family that has now left the country.
"Heritage lives on in Israel"
Sharansky said the completion of the repatriation operation brings "this chapter in the history of one of the oldest Jewish communities to an end". The heritage of the 2.000-year-old Yemeni Jewish culture, however, lives on in Israel.
The settlement of Jews in Yemen is already associated with biblical accounts at the time of King Solomon some 3.000 years associated. There is verified evidence in the form of Jewish inscriptions and synagogues since the 4. Century. Some of the Yemeni Jews maintained close ties with Jewish centers in the Galilee as well as in Egypt and what is now Iraq.