Israelis in Ukraine told to evacuate, Israeli diplomats to help

It has been estimated that around 8,000 Israelis are stranded in Ukraine after the airspace over Ukraine was closed.

Ukrainian Jews return to Israel. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Ukrainian Jews return to Israel.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Israeli diplomats were stationed at crossings on Ukraine’s western border to help Israelis evacuate by land on Thursday, following Russia’s attack on the country and the closure of its airspace.

An estimated 7,000-8,000 Israelis remain in Ukraine, and the Israeli embassy asked that those who have not yet done so register on its website to receive updates.

Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky said that Israel “is asking Israelis to reach the border crossing with Poland independently.

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 “We are prepared, on the Polish side, to accept Israelis and help them fly to Israel,” Brodsky told KAN.

 Israeli embassies sent representatives to the Medyka crossing with Poland, the Vysne Nemescke crossing with Slovakia, the Zahony crossing with Hungary, the Siret crossing with Romania and the Planca crossing with Moldova.

 Service members of the Ukrainian armed forces take position after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Mariupol (credit: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA) Service members of the Ukrainian armed forces take position after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Mariupol (credit: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA)

 The Israeli Embassy in Ukraine, which moved to Lviv near the western border to be farther from the more intense warzone in the east and to help with evacuations, has received hundreds of phone calls, the ambassador said.

 “We are staying here at the moment,” Brodsky added.

 Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was set to hold a situation assessment meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

 Hatzalah Jewish rescue services in Uman, Ukraine, the site of Hassidic pilgrimages to Rabbi Nachman of Breslev’s grave, said on Thursday that they “woke up under fire in the morning.”

 “We prepared buses in advance, but there is chaos at the moment and no driver is willing to drive to the borders,” Hatzalah’s spokesman Shlomi Elisha said. “We are coordinating all the efforts to organize buses as much as we can.”

 The buses will leave from Pushkina Square in Uman, with security and medical staff.

“Israel is prepared to deliver immediate humanitarian assistance to Ukraine,” Minister of Immigration and Absorption of Israel Pnina Tamano-Shata said on Thursday morning, to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations.

"We are ready to accept thousands of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine,” said Tamano-Shata.