Israel said Friday it welcomes the migration of thousands of Ukrainian Jews to Israel amid an escalating conflict with Russia.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Khayyat told reporters that Jews in Ukraine are welcomed to migrate to Israel, adding that the Jewish community in Ukraine is estimated between 120,000 to 150,000 Jews.
Another statement by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office said the political leadership in Israel decided to provide support to the Jewish community in Ukraine and to prepare for allowing them to migrate to Israel.
On Thursday, Haaretz newspaper said the Jewish Agency, a semi-official Israeli body that facilitates Jewish migration worldwide to Israel, was flooded with applications by Ukrainian Jews requesting to flee Ukraine to Israel since the start of the Russian military operations.
According to the daily, the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency are discussing procedures to facilitate and shorten the process for migration to Israel for Ukrainian Jews.
On Sunday, two flights brought 100 Ukrainian Jews to Israel, one flight from the capital Kyiv and the other from Odessa city in southern Ukraine.
Defying threats of sanctions by the West, Russia earlier this week officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, followed by the start of a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the operation aims to protect people “subjected to genocide” by Kyiv and to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, while calling on the Ukrainian army to lay down its arms.
* Writing by Ahmed AsmarAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.