29/01/13 13:35 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Israel’s health ministry has admitted to injecting female Ethiopian Jewish immigrants with a birth control drug in an effort to reduce their birthrate and control the immigrant population.
Last Sunday the Haaretz newspaper published a letter written by Ron Gamzu, the director general of the country’s health ministry, in which he responds to comments made by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and ordered several organisations treating Ethiopian women to stop administering birth control injections. In the past, the Israeli government has denied giving contraceptive drugs to cut the birth rate among immigrants.
In his letter, Gamzu advised gynecologists treating Ethiopian women in official health ministry clinics not to renew prescriptions for the drug Depo-Provera in case the patients did not fully understand the consequences of taking it. Gamzu added that doctors should call on translation agencies to ensure that the patients had understood these consequences before taking the birth control drugs.
ACRI and five other activist groups have accused the country’s authorities of a “racist attitude”, and criticised the limitations set for Ethiopian women in choosing their own birth control method.
Activist groups have conducted studies showing that the birth rate in Israel’s Ethiopian community has decreased by half over the last decade. Ethiopian women received 57% of all Depo-Provera delivered in the country, although they account for less than 2% of the total population, according to a study released in 2009.
Depo-Provera, a prescription drug, is thought to be highly effective. The women receiving the drug require injections every three months. Adverse side-effects include menstrual irregularities, weight fluctuation, depression, hair loss, headaches and skin blemishes.
The announcement generated a huge amount of controversial comments in social networks such as Twitter.
Ethiopians in Israel
In modern times, the first Ethiopian Jews settled in Palestine, alongside Yemenite Jews, in around 1934. They were immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Beta Israel communities of Ethiopia. Between 1963 and 1975, a small group of Ethiopian Jews emigrated, most of them illegally, to Israel.
Between 1979 and 1990, during the Ethiopian Civil War, approximately 7,200 Ethiopian Jews sought refuge in Israel. In 1991, the Israeli government organised “Operation Solomon” during which more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were transferred to Israel.
Today Israel is home to the largest Jewish-Ethiopian community in the world. More than 120,000 Beta Israelis live in the country. The majority of Ethiopian Jews are in urban areas of central and southern Israel.
- 1Turkey: two journalists jailed over Syria smuggling reports
- 2Questions raised after pro-Kurdish lawyer shot dead in southern Turkey
- 3All eyes on King Tut’s tomb in search for ancient Egypt’s lost Queen Nefertiti
- 4Another border fence in Europe ahead of crucial migration summit
- 5Merkel faces call to resign amid migrant crisis criticism
- 1Lavrov hits Turkey with more penalties, doubts commitment to war on “secret allies” ISIL
- 2Top Kurdish lawyer Tahir Elci shot dead in Turkey
- 3Turkey warns Russia not to ‘play with fire’ over downing of fighter jet
- 4Belgian police release new details about on-the-run fifth Paris suspect
- 5Mali: at least 3 dead in attack on UN peacekeepers base in Kidal
- 1Fate of pilots of downed Russian jet unclear
- 2Russia confirms Turks have shot down one of its planes on Syrian border
- 3Paris attacker Abdelhamid Abaaoud ‘returned to scene of shootings’
- 4Crimea: state of emergency declared
- 5Brussels remains on high alert: ‘multiple operations underway’ across Belgium
- 1Coordinated terror attacks leave dozens dead in Paris
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 31000-year-old Bible found in Turkey
- 4Bomb and several shootings in central Paris – reports of fatalities and injuries
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6Police hunting Paris attacks mastermind battle with suspects in heart of Paris
- 7latest sci-tech news : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 8European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 9Thousands in Bucharest blame corruption for Friday’s nightclub blaze
- 10Hope vs harsh reality: challenges to global education goals in the 21st century
- 11New temporary spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood appointed
- 12world Weather | euronews: world ten day weather forecast
- 13‘Anonymous’ hackers’ group declares ‘war’ on ISIL
- 14Latest sport news
- 15‘Maxed-out:’ Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s frank warning over Syria crisis
- 16Middle East - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 17International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 18Romanians’ cold revolt against corruption
- 19Latest News Bulletin
- 20No Comment | euronews: international news images without commentary
Latest world news
Put yourself in their shoes: Paris presents new twist on climate march
Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli officer in Jerusalem
Questions raised after pro-Kurdish lawyer shot dead in southern Turkey
Sand sculptures stun beach-goers in Florida Keys
Monarch butterflies make annual migration to Mexico
Wires > News
- 14:50 CET Syria’s Assad says his enemies increasing support for insurgents
- 14:34 CET EU seeks Turkish help to slow migrants for cash, EU membership…
- 14:07 CET Thousands gather for funeral of top Kurdish lawyer
- 13:46 CET Slovakia to file lawsuit over EU migrant quotas before December 18…
- 13:34 CET Paris attacks a risk for recovery in Italy – minister tells…
- 13:31 CET Ukraine tightens control over foreign charter flights
- 13:14 CET Burkina Faso votes to choose first new leader in decades
- 13:02 CET World climate rallies put pressure on Paris summit to act