Ethiopian Israelis push government for family unifications

Hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants are protesting outside Israel's parliament, demanding the government fulfill a pledge to bring some 8,000 of their countrymen remaining in Ethiopia to Israel.

Israel's government agreed in 2015 to bring the remaining Ethiopians to Israel but it has not authorized funding for their move.

Most of the stranded Ethiopians have close relatives in Israel. Although the families have Jewish roots, Israel doesn't consider them Jewish, meaning they need government approval to immigrate.

The families see the issue as part of an inconsistent and discriminatory immigration policy, and fear the upcoming 2019 budget will not fund the moves.

Alisa Bodner, spokeswoman for the protesters, said Tuesday the families have had enough and feel "their lives are worth just as much as any other lives here in Israel."