Jewish immigrants wave Israeli flags at Ben Gurion International airport on August 12, 2014
Jewish immigrants wave Israeli flags at Ben Gurion International airport on August 12, 2014 © Gali Tibbon - AFP/File
Jewish immigrants wave Israeli flags at Ben Gurion International airport on August 12, 2014
AFP
Last updated: October 16, 2015

Immigration to Israel seen up 16%, led by France

More than 30,000 people are expected to immigrate to Israel in 2015, a 16 percent increase on last year, Immigration Minister Zeev Elkin said Thursday.

France would provide the largest number of new residents, with a 2015 estimate of 7,500 representing a 118 percent jump on 3,440 in 2013, the immigration ministry said.

In January, after four Jews were murdered in an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an invitation to French and European Jews to emigrate.

France's Jewish community is estimated at between 500,000 and 600,000 people, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

Following behind French emigres, Israel is expected to receive this year 7,100 Jews from Ukraine, a whopping 250 percent increase on 2013, as well as 6,300 from Russia and 2,900 from the United States.

Israel has a policy know as aliyah, which encourages Jews from around the world to emigrate to the country. Since Israel was founded in 1948, more than three million people have done so.

The country has an estimated population of 8.4 million, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported in September, of which some 75 percent are Jews.

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