Ukraine insists on answers as Israel 'treating Kyiv like Gaza Strip': report

Ukraine insists on answers as Israel 'treating Kyiv like Gaza Strip': report
2 min read
18 February, 2022
Kyiv was reportedly angered after a news outlet claimed Tel Aviv asked Russia to help it repatriate Israeli nationals from Ukraine should there be conflict.
Michael Brodsky was called in by Ukraine's foreign ministry [Mykola Miakshykov/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images-archive]

Ukraine summoned the Israeli envoy Michael Brodsky on Thursday to insist on answers after a news outlet claimed Tel Aviv asked Russia to help it repatriate Israeli nationals from Ukraine should there be conflict.

Kyiv was angered by an article in Israel's Walla outlet which said a senior Israeli official asked Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, to create a means for Israelis to securely leave Ukraine, one source told Haaretz.

Haaretz's source said: "You are treating us like what? The Gaza Strip or something? It's just nonsense."

Analysis
Live Story

They said Ukraine was "disappointed" not to see Israel do more to help, adding that ties with Tel Aviv "cannot be unilateral".

"We're not asking for weapons, but for moral support and diplomatic effort," they said.

Russia has placed more than 100,000 soldiers on its border with Ukraine, and the US has warned of a serious threat of invasion.

Israel maintains that Tel Aviv's dialogue with Moscow was to help calm the situation and to note Israel's worry for its diplomats and civilians.

The approximately 15,000 Israeli nationals residing in Ukraine were told to get out as quickly as they can by the Israeli foreign ministry on Saturday.

About 3,100 people have been evacuated to Israel in the last week.

The ministry, which called a state of emergency on Saturday, said it also expected more Ukrainian Jews to seek to move to Israel than usual.

Due to a controversial Israeli law, Jewish people from anywhere in the world may take up Israeli citizenship and reside in the country.

Meanwhile, millions of Palestinian refugees are unable to reclaim the homes they or their ancestors were ethnically cleansed from during the 1948 Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic), which occurred alongside the establishment of the Israeli state.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli blockade since 2007.