Israel to recognize Ukrainian olim as refugees fleeing war zone

The decision means that Ukrainian immigrants will receive a significant four-figure or five-figure grant from the Israeli government.

 Israelis protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Israelis protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Ministry, which will be dealing with a large influx of immigrants this coming week, has made a dramatic decision to recognize immigrants coming from Ukraine as refugees fleeing the area of fighting and emergency.

This means that the immigrants who come from Ukraine will receive a significant one-time grant due to being someone who comes from battle zones. 

A one-time substantial grant 

The ministry decided, according to the decision of the Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, to grant new Israeli citizens who are Ukrainian refugees a one-time grant, in addition to the absorption of financial packages and temporary housing in a hotel or motel. 

According to the ministry's decision, every single immigrant who comes from Ukraine will receive a one-time grant of about NIS 6,000, a couple will receive NIS 11,000 and a family will receive NIS 15,000.

The ministry explains that “the decision to offer a grant to the refugees is due to the fact that the immigrants coming from Ukraine are not prepared for their aliyah - for all that it entails and were forced to leave their home in a hurry and without their belongings.

The Aliyah and Integration Ministry has been preparing in recent weeks for the absorption of thousands of immigrants from Ukraine.”

 ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata speaks at a meeting in the Knesset with the Jewish People’s Lobby in November. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata speaks at a meeting in the Knesset with the Jewish People’s Lobby in November. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

From the assessment made by the ministry, it is clear that the immigrants who will arrive, from the beginning of next week, will arrive with very little equipment and clothing due to the circumstances.

A call for proposals of hospitality

The ministry also continues to publish a "call for proposals" to find more hotels, extension homes, and hostels that will accommodate the immigrants at least for the first few days. 

As early as last week, the ministry published a call for proposals for rooms for the absorption of immigrants and to date, several companies have submitted bids for the same call. 

The ministry has allocated about 12,000 rooms in hotels in cooperation with the Israel Hotels Association, guest houses and housing clusters throughout the country, including between 2,000-3,000 in the north of the country, about 6,000 in the center of the country, 200 optional rooms in hostels and 90 apartments in housing clusters.

Every day, situational assessments are conducted under the leadership of the Tamano-Shata and with the participation of government ministries and immigration organizations. 

Last week, the Aliyah and Integration Ministry convened an emergency hearing during which Tamano-Shata instructed the relevant ministry staff to remove bureaucratic barriers to issuing immigration visas digitally.

"This is a very difficult time for the citizens of Ukraine, but it is also the time for the 'Israeli Guarantee' (the name of Israel's absorption operation)," said Shata of the decision.

"I have the privilege to receive our brothers and sisters from Ukraine who fled the battles. I declared an emergency situation in the Ministry and our staff have been working night and day to provide a wide range of services for the immigrants from the moment they land in Israel. The hotels we rented have rooms as pre-assessments, and we see it as an equivalent to a warm hug by our Ministry's staff."