23 January 2006
Jews in Yemen have reportedly fled their homes due to threats from Muslim extremists. The Saudi newspaper "Al-Wattan" was quoted by JTA as reporting that 45 Jews from the town of al-Salem, near Sanaa, received letters last Friday from a local faction linked to al-Qaeda accusing them of being part of an “international Zionist conspiracy.” The group threatened murder, abductions and looting if the Jews did not evacuate their homes within ten days. Israeli radio broadcast an interview with a member of al-Salem’s Jewish community confirming that such threats had been received. The Jews are staying in a hotel near the capital, having submitted a complaint to Yemenite president Abdullah Salah.
Yemen's authorities have stepped in, assuring the Jews they can return home and be protected, "Al-Wattan" reported. The Jews hope to return to their homes in Yemen, where they have lived for generations. Some 45,000 Yemenite Jews – nearly the entire community – were brought to Israel in the operation "Magic Carpet", following Muslim riots in 1948 that killed scores of Yemenite Jews. Only some 200 Jews remain in the Arab country today."