Nearly 8% of Ukrainians have been denied entry into Israel since invasion

Some 72 out of the 909 Ukrainians who arrived at Ben Gurion Airport since February 24 were forced to turn back, according to Population and Immigration Authority data obtained by the Post.

 Israelis arrive at Ben Gurion Airport from Ukraine. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israelis arrive at Ben Gurion Airport from Ukraine.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Nearly 8% of Ukrainians trying to enter the country since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 were denied entry and forced to return, according to data from the Population and Immigration Authority (PIA).

As of midday Thursday, out of 909 Ukrainians who arrived at Ben Gurion Airport wishing to enter the country, 837 were allowed to enter while 72 were denied entry and were required to return to their country of origin, the PIA Spokesperson told the Post.

This amounts to a 7.92% denial rate.

The PIA spokesperson could not provide a more detailed account of the data, such as the number of new olim versus the number of tourist visas, saying that it will take a few days to procure such a report.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced on Thursday that new olim in the next three months will not be required to provide a certificate of good conduct or an Apostille authentication stamp, a decision meant to make the aliyah process easier for Jews fleeing Ukraine.

 INTERIOR MINISTER Ayelet Shaked (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) INTERIOR MINISTER Ayelet Shaked (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

In a March 1 policy sheet titled "Israel's Immigration Policy for Foreign Arrivals From Ukraine Due to the War," the PIA listed a number of further easing of restrictions on aliya. For example, since men aged 18-60 were not allowed to leave Ukraine, spouses and children of men eligible for aliyah due to the Law of Return, who themselves are not eligible, will still be allowed to make aliyah as if the man was present. 

"[For further detail] turn to the Freedom of Information [Unit]. What we have we give, we are not hiding anything," said the PIA in response.

"These people may be considered refugees in the world but a 'refugee' is a defined legal concept. If you call them 'asylum seekers' it means that you know as a fact that they entered the country and officially requested asylum.

"The 8% [denial rate] is the same as before. There are not more denials then the past."