Israel stands with the Ukrainian people, Bennett tells Zelensky

They discussed Israel's plan to offer humanitarian aid, particularly medical assistants, to the Ukrainian people.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations mission to Israel, February 20, 2022.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations mission to Israel, February 20, 2022.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel supports the Ukrainian people in their time of need, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the country's President Volodymyr Zelensky when the two spoke on Friday.

Confirming the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel's comments to The Jerusalem Post that Ukraine is "looking for an Israeli diplomatic effort as an intermediary," Zelensky asked Bennett to facilitate ceasefire talks with Russia in Jerusalem, KAN News reported.

The public comments Bennett's office published after the call did not mention any condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine that began on Thursday morning.

They did discuss Israel's plan to offer humanitarian aid, particularly medical assistants, to the Ukrainian people.

Their call was part of a series of diplomatic calls Israeli leaders have held in the past 48-hours, as the Foreign Ministry has pushed to remove its citizens from the war-torn country and provide assistance to Jews who want to flee.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday night. On Friday he also spoke with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. "We discussed the situation in Ukraine and the resulting global consequences, as well as Israel’s offer of humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people," Lapid said.

 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Lapid has also held a number of situational assessments with his ministry. Bennett held a large meeting on the Ukrainian crisis on Thursday night at the Kiryah Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv to cement plans to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine as well as to assist Israelis and Jews who need to leave the county. There were 8,000 Israelis in Ukraine at the start of the conflict.

Israel has evacuated its embassy in Kyiv and is instead working out of Lviv. It also has Foreign Ministry staff members stationed at crossings between Ukraine and neighboring counties to ease the situation for Israelis who are trying to exit. 

Embassy staff in Ukraine also helped three busloads of Israelis cross into Poland on Friday.