Monday, 16 May 2022 - 15 of Iyyar, 5782

Israeli ministries met to plan possible airlift of Ukrainian Jews if Russia attacks

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Jewish organizations estimate that as many as 75,000 Ukrainians in the eastern part of the country are eligible for Israeli citizenship.

By JNS

Top Israeli government officials and leaders of Jewish organizations held a meeting earlier this week to discuss the possibility of evacuating Jews from Ukraine if Russia invades.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been amassing troops at the two countries’ borders since the fall, reportedly including the placement of weapons such as ballistic missiles, with some estimates of an impending crossing or invasion early this year.

According to a report in Haaretz, the meeting was held with members of the National Security Council, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, and the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety.

It also included representatives from the Jewish Agency for Israel and Nativ, which maintains connections with Jews in former Soviet countries.

Jewish organizations estimate that some 75,000 Ukrainians living in the eastern part of the country, many of them elderly, are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, which allows

According to Ariel Kahana from Israel Hayom, Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassy in Kyiv have asked Israelis in the country to provide them with contact information, apparently in preparation for a possible military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine. Some 3,000 people have answered the call thus far.

Officials following events on the ground in Ukraine have made no mention of plans to evacuate Israelis from the country at this time.

The Jewish Agency, meanwhile, informed its employees in the country it was preparing to evacuate them should that become necessary.

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