According to Some News Agencies, Israelis of Yemeni origin continue to pour into Yemen [Archives:2000/15/Front Page]

April 10 2000

Despite the opposition of Al-Ahmar, Speaker of the House of Parliament, and all opposition parties, some news agencies reported that a second group of Israeli tourists arrived in Yemen on Thursday April 6. This is the second group in a week to visit areas where Jews once lived. At least 10 Israelis were on the tour, which includes visiting old Jewish neighborhoods and villages. According to sources from the tourism sector, most, but not all, of the Israelis were of Yemeni background. 
Even though the information came from internationally well-recognized news agencies, yet Yemen Times was not able to get a confirmation from tourist agencies or official sources confirming their arrival and where they were taken to. This raises questions whether the news of the arrival of the second group was just a rumor. 
It is worth mentioning that the number of Jews in Yemen during the 1950s was around 50,000, of which only a few hundred still remain in Yemen today. 
The first Israeli group left Yemen last week after government officials refused to meet them. The government and leadership placed several conditions before any normalization with Israel can take place. 
President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been quoted as saying that the Israelis presence stirred an unjustified fuss in the media, and that the government had dealt with them not as Israelis, but as Yemenis living abroad. 
The current visits mark the first time the government has coordinated them through travel agencies, and permitted their entrance to Yemeni soil. This permission seems to have even driven the attention of the international media on Yemen.