In 1950, Operation Magic Carpet, which secretly airlifted 45,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel, was concluded. Many of the Jews had never before seen an airplane; they likened the ride to a fulfillment of the biblical verse, "And I bore you on eagles' wings" (Exodus 19:4). According to tradition, Jews had lived in Yemen since the 7th century BCE. Upon arriving in Israel they were housed in tent camps; there was very little infrastructure and resources to accommodate them, as the Jewish population of Israel nearly doubled in its first three years. Yet within a short time, the immigrants had been absorbed into the fledging Israeli society.
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