The Prime Minister of Israel said the nation is managing its involvement with Ukraine and Russia in a sensitive, generous and responsible way while balancing various and complex considerations after Ukraine’s president called on Israel to take sides.
Naftali Benett spoke on the tarmac at Israel’s main international airport as an aid delegation was set to depart for Ukraine to set up a field hospital for refugees near the Polish border.
A day earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rebuked Israel in a televised address to Israeli parliament members, saying Israel should provide arms and impose sanctions on Russia.
Israel is sharing good bilateral relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has acted as an intermediary between the two sides since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
While Israel has denounced Russia’s invasion, it has also abstained from taking action that would anger Moscow out of concern of jeopardizing its military coordination in neighbouring Syria.
At the same time, Benett said Israel had extended its hand in aid in the Ukraine crisis for several weeks, very much from the first moment, through several different channels, pointing to humanitarian aid shipments and taking in Ukrainian refugees and immigrants.