Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Feb. 24, 2022

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on Israeli citizens still in Ukraine to “leave now.”

During his remarks at the IDF Officer’s Course graduation ceremony Thursday afternoon, Bennett said, “I take this opportunity to address the Israeli citizens who have not yet left Ukraine: Leave now.

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“Our representatives are waiting to welcome you at the western border crossings,” he told Israelis still in the country.

“In addition, any Jew from anywhere in the world knows that a home awaits them here, with us, and that our door will always be open,” he said.

Like everyone else, we pray for peace and calm in Ukraine, and still hope that dialogue will lead to a resolution,” Bennett added, saying “These are difficult and tragic moments, and our hearts are with the civilians that, through no fault of their own, have been thrust into this situation.”

The prime minister said that Israel will mobilize to “extend humanitarian aid as needed,” saying, “We have the capability; we are experienced and we will help Ukraine’s citizens as much as possible.”

Israel’s United Hatzalah emergency medical response organization is one group that is preparing to deliver that humanitarian aid.

The delegation, formed at the request of the Chief Rabbi of Moldova Rabbi Pinchas Zaltzman, will include paramedics and EMTs as well as members of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit. They will be taking with them medical and humanitarian supplies to provide relief to those crossing the border from Ukraine, to Moldova,” according to president and founder of United Hatzalah, Eli Beer.

However, Moldova’s airspace has closed so it’s not yet clear how they will get there. That announcement about the closure of Moldova’s airspace came shortly after President Maia Sandu said the government was preparing to declare a state of emergency.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.