JERUSALEM, Israel - Persecution, harassment and violent attacks have convinced most of the last vestige of Yemeni Jews, numbering about 250, to flee the country.
"About 120 of the Yemeni Jews want to move to Israel," an unnamed source told The Jerusalem Post. "One hundred want to move the U.S.," he said, adding that an estimated 20 to 30 Jews plan to remain in Yemen for now.
Yemen's official news agency, Saba, reported on the Jewish emigration on Wednesday, saying the exodus is being "triggered by alleged harassment" and "fear of persecution."
"All Jews in the area are preparing to leave for Israel within the next [several] days," Saba quoted Rabbi Yahya Yaish, chief rabbi of the Amran and Ridah districts, as saying.
Last December, the rabbi's brother and a community leader, Moshe Yaish al-Nahari, was murdered for refusing to convert to Islam.
Al-Nahari's three daughters made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) shortly after their father was killed and their three brothers just arrived in the country. Al-Nahari's murderer was sentenced to death in June.
"Harrassment has been stepped up against Jews in the districts of Amran and Kharef, with some of the Jews [being] killed and others kidnapped," Rabbi Yaish said.
Over the past several years, the Shi'ite Muslim population in the northwestern part of the country has been stirring up anti-government activities and targeting the Jewish population whenever possible.
Source: The Jerusalem Post