Report: Israel Secretly Funding Refugee Camps for Ukrainian Jews

Naftali Bennett spearheading effort, funneling resources through the Joint Distribution Committee and others to help homeless Jews, according to Maariv.

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Members of the Ukrainian Jewish community wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries praying in the only synagogue in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on November 14, 2014.Credit: AFP

The Israeli government is secretly funding the rehabilitation of thousands of Jews who have been internally displaced by fighting in Ukraine, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has spearheaded the effort, funneling two million shekels through the Joint Distribution Committee, Chabad and the International fellowship of Christians and Jewsto construct refugee camps for homeless Jews.

The Israeli government does not usually channel money directly toward individual Jewish communities at risk, but when the need arises it usually does so secretly, according to Maariv.

Ukrainian Jewish officials estimate that about 6,000 Jews in the country are homeless, located in cities in Eastern Ukraine such as Donetsk, where pro-Russian rebels are in control or areas that have turned into war zones.