Israel steps up operations to assist Israelis and Jews in Ukraine

February 27, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
Read on for article

Israel’s Foreign Ministry took several steps over the weekend to assist Israelis trapped in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian flags together with Israeli flags wave in the wind in the Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko, visit the the Knesset. Jerusalem, Dec 2015. Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS

Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid has directed the personnel of the Israeli embassy in Lviv in western Ukraine to spend nights across the border in Poland, following the fighting in the area and the reported Russian advancement toward the city. However, Embassy personnel will return to Ukraine daily, to continue their diplomatic work and to help Israeli citizens leave Ukraine.

The decision was taken during a situation assessment held on Saturday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that addressed various issues, including the situation on the ground, the security of the Israeli emissaries Israel and the continuation of service to Israeli citizens.

There are still around 6000-8000 Israelis in Ukraine. Thousands of Israeli citizens who registered at the Israeli embassy in Ukraine were notified to mark themselves as Israeli citizens to make it easier for Israeli diplomats at border crossings to help them leave Ukraine.

“We ask all Israeli citizens who are at the border crossings to display on their bodies or vehicles a prominent sign with the letters ‘IL’ in such a way that Israeli officials can locate Israeli citizens in queues and assist them, if possible,” the statement said.

Lapid also ordered the departure of Israel’s designated Ambassador to Poland, Dr. Yaakov Livne, to Warsaw, with the goal of “furthering assistance to Israeli citizens crossing the border from Ukraine to Poland, and in view of the importance of events and the central role which Poland is playing in them.”

Livne has been in Israel following a diplomatic spat between Israel and Poland over the latter’s revisionism of the Holocaust’s history and its refusal to return Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw has acted under the leadership of Charge D’Affaires Tal Ben Ari Ya’alon “in fruitful cooperation with Polish authorities” in the effort to assist Israelis exiting Ukraine.

On Friday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Bennett offered Israel’s assistance with any humanitarian aid needed and updated Zelensky on the steps already taken in this regard.

Bennett reiterated his “hope for a speedy end to the fighting, and said that he stands by the people of Ukraine in these difficult days.”

Lapid spoke on Friday with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock about “the situation in Ukraine and the resulting global consequences.”

Israel is treading a thin line in an attempt to assist Ukraine and align itself with the West while not angering Russia, with which it has ties and with which it coordinates its military actions against terror targets inside Syria.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.