Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held consultations on Saturday night on the Wagner mercenary group's revolt against the Kremlin, as Israel urged its citizens to refrain from traveling to Russia and prepared to help both Israelis and Russian Jews who might need to leave.
There are some 60,000-70,000 Israelis in Russia and some 500,000 Jews living there who are eligible to immigrate based on the Law or Return.
Israeli diplomats and their families are remaining in Russia at present.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen spoke with Israel's ambassador to Moscow, Alex Ben-Zvi on Saturday and his office plans to send extra staff to Russia to help expedite travel documents needed by Israelis and Russian Jews.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely following the events in Moscow and the developments of the last day,” Cohen said.
“We anticipate that many Israelis in Russia will need consular treatment, so we will increase the consular staff in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely following the events in Moscow and the developments of the last day.”Foreign Minister Eli Cohen
“Even in such moments, the Foreign Ministry envoys will continue to be at the disposal of Israeli citizens who need assistance.’"
Israel preparing for immigration of Russian Jews
Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer, chairman of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, will convene with a committee to discuss immigration from Russia to Israel in light of the recent conflict.
"The government must recalculate a course regarding immigration from Russia and not miss the opportunity for a large wave of immigration," Forer said.
The discussion will deal with the government's preparation for the crisis and its influence on the Jewish community and immigration to Israel.
The top US military officer, Army General Mark Milley, has canceled a scheduled trip to the Middle East due to depart on Saturday because of the situation in Russia, his spokesperson said, where he had meant to travel to Israel. Milley was also intending on travelling to Jordan.
Milley spoke on Saturday with his Ukrainian counterpart, Milley's office said in a separate statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.