On Tuesday, Israel announced it was ready to take in up to 5,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion, as well as 20,000 other Ukrainians who entered before the war.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced the policy at a press conference, where she also stated that Israel is preparing for an influx of tens of thousands of Ukrainians with Jewish ancestors who are eligible for immigrant status under Israeli law.
“Israel will temporarily host some 20,000 Ukrainian individuals who resided in Israel, most of them illegally, before the conflict broke out,” Shaked added, referring to visitors and workers who overstayed their permits, such as elderly carers.
“We will also enable them to work in Israel if, God forbid, the battles do not conclude within a reasonable time,” she added.
If the situation in Ukraine did not improve, Shaked said the up to 5,000 Ukrainian people permitted in to flee the current conflict would be given a three-month visa and allowed to seek work.
On Tuesday, the European Union said that its member nations have taken in two million refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, with millions more anticipated to arrive.
Israel has been involved in diplomatic efforts to bring the conflict in Ukraine to an end. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week and spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.