Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a statement yesterday saying, “The Russian attack all across Ukraine is a serious violation of international law and Israel condemns it. Israel has known conflicts and war is not the way to resolve them. One can still stop and settle the disputes.” He added that, “has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine” and called on Israeli citizens still in Ukraine to leave the country. PM Bennet, however, did not condemn Russia in comments he made about the invasion. US Secretary of State has reportedly asked Israel to vote to condemn Russia in the UN. [the presence of the Russian military in Syria obviously makes the situation more complicated and sensitive]
Meanwhile, the Russian UN Mission tweeted, “We’re concerned over Tel Aviv’s announced plans for expanding settlement activity in the occupied #GolanHeights, which contradicts the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention. Russia doesn’t recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights that are part of #Syria.”
Around 500 Israelis evacuated Ukraine by land to Poland yesterday, on buses organized by the Israeli embassy, which is currently located in Lviv. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, its staff in Lviv is in touch with thousands of Israelis in Ukraine by phone and is giving them instructions on how to reach the western land border crossings, where Israeli diplomats from the neighboring countries are stationed.
More than 200 Israelis, most of whom are of Ukrainian origin, protested against the Russian invasion last night opposite the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv. A similar protest also took place in Jerusalem.
To read an in-depth JTA article about the Jewish community in Ukraine and how the Russian invasion is effected them, click here.
Syrian media reported that Israel fired missiles at military targets near Damascus yesterday, killing three soldiers and causing material damage. State TV quoted an unnamed Syrian military official as saying that most of the Israeli missiles were shot down by Syrian air defenses.
Our thoughts are prayers are with the Ukrainian people in these dark and dangerous times they are going through.