Israeli diplomats have been assisting Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian citizens to evacuate from Ukraine, transporting them from the war-torn nation alongside Israeli refugees, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday.
A spokesman for the ministry stated that citizens of several regional states, including those currently in a state of war with Israel had boarded a bus organized by Israeli diplomats on the Polish side of the border and that the embassy is also ready to “help Israeli residents from East Jerusalem.”
Israel has repeatedly called for its citizens, estimated at around 15,000 before the Russian invasion, to leave Ukraine . Last Thursday, after Russian troops entered Ukraine, Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky stationed representatives at border crossings in the south and west of the country – leading into Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania – to assist Israelis seeking to leave.
Brodsky said that there were no conditions on Israeli aid to residents of Arab states, telling Haaretz by phone from Poland on Sunday afternoon that any assistance rendered was “purely humanitarian.”
While the representatives are only actively seeking Israelis, “if there are requests from other nationals, including Arabs, we try to help,” he said, estimating that around 5-6 thousand Israelis are still left in Ukraine. Diplomatic personnel, he said, were travelling to the Ukrainian side of the border, where refugees are backed up for miles, and "pulling them out from the line and bringing them to the other side of the border in diplomatic cars."
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“We’ll help anyone who we can help to get to the border. We can’t help him cross the border,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat told Haaretz.
“We’ve helped a Lebanese student yesterday, and we know that there are other students from other nationalities that are joining the Israeli buses, especially from the north. We estimate that there were about 2,000 Israelis that left Ukraine in the last three days since the war started. They joined 4,500 that left earlier in the last ten days.”