Bennett Offers Humanitarian Aid in Call With Zelenskyy, 'Stands by Ukrainian People'

Israel also announced $3 million in aid to Ukraine's Jewish community amid Russian invasion

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Protesters clad in Israeli and Ukrainian flags take part in a demonstration against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv, on Thursday.
Protesters clad in Israeli and Ukrainian flags take part in a demonstration against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv, on Thursday.Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered humanitarian aid to Ukraine in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Bennett's office said, as Israel seems to adopt a more public pro-Kyiv line amid a large-scale Russian offensive.

The two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine, and particularly the fighting around the capital Kyiv. According to the Israeli statement, Bennett "reiterated his hope for a swift end to the fighting" and said that he "stands by the Ukrainian people in these difficult times."

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Foreign Minster Yair Lapid spoke on Friday with his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, about Israel's aid offer, he said on Twitter.

Israel's Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai announced also on Friday a 10-million-shekel ($3.1 million) aid package to Ukraine’s Jewish community.

The funds will go towards food and water, refugee absorption, transportation to safe locations and additional security efforts to protect against possible antisemitic incidents, as well as looting and rioting of Jewish centers.

A ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while the money could take some time to get to Ukraine, it is important that aid groups working with the Jewish community know now that they will be able to be reimbursed by Israel so that they can start taking action.

In its first official statement on the crisis between Kyiv and Moscow, Israel said on Wednesday it supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Israel deliberately refrained from mentioning Russia or President Putin in the statement, reflecting the complicated position Israel has found itself in over the crisis.

Following Israel's official statement of support, and just before launching its full-scale attack on Ukraine, Russia condemned the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights and said it does not recognize Israel's sovereignty in the region.

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