Israel to Restrict Number of Non-Jewish Ukrainian Refugees to Just 5,000

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked. (Photo: Mark Neyman, via Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has announced its intention to cap the number of non-Jewish refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine at just 5,000, The New Arab reported.

This is in addition to the 20,000 Ukrainians who were already in the country prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and have been told they won’t be deported, Israeli authorities have announced.

Data released by the Population and Immigration Authority has revealed that 2,519 non-Jewish Ukrainians have arrived since Russia launched its assault on Ukraine, leaving just 2,481 spaces remaining.

No such restrictions exist for Ukrainian Jews, and according to Shaked, Israel is anticipating around 100,000 Jewish refugees from Ukraine.

Israel’s “Law of Return” allows Jewish people across the world to emigrate to Israel and acquire citizenship. The millions of Palestinians who were forced from their homes during the creation of Israel and its subsequent expansions are not allowed to return to the country or occupied territories.

Justifying Israeli policy regarding non-Jewish refugees, Shaked told a press conference: “We can’t take in Ukrainians without any limits.”

Initially, those granted permission to stay will be given temporary permits lasting three months, with no social benefits and with no recognition as refugees.

Speaking at the press conference, Shaked said that if the situation in Ukraine does not improve after three months, then Israel may consider allowing them to work.

Despite the restrictive nature of Israel’s refugee policy – which largely bars non-Jewish immigration – some Israeli lawmakers condemned the decision as too lenient.

Israeli lawmaker Yariv Levin, of the right-wing Likud, accused Shaked of “opening up the country’s borders” and claimed that the Israeli policy would “flood the country with foreign immigrants”.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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