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Israel prepares to give citizenship to 100,000 Ukrainians

Passengers are welcomed in Israel as they disembark from an airplane carrying Jewish immigrants fleeing the war in Ukraine, at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, on 6 March 2022. [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
Passengers are welcomed in Israel as they disembark from an airplane carrying Jewish immigrants fleeing the war in Ukraine, at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, on 6 March 2022. [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Far-right Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has said that Israel is preparing to absorb 100,000 Ukrainian immigrants fleeing Russia's war in their country "immediately", local media revealed on Sunday.

According to the Times of Israel, Shaked and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid are advancing a new policy to grant year-long residency and work permits to Ukrainians escaping the war.

Shaked said on Friday that 1,555 Ukrainians had arrived in Israel since Russia launched its invasion, 150 of whom "are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return." Israel allows Jews to "return" to the country from their homes anywhere in the world, but continues to deny Palestinian refugees their legitimate right to return to their occupied homeland.

"We are preparing to absorb and immediately give citizenship to some 100,000 people who are eligible," said Shaked, according to whom Israeli citizenship is focused on Jewish refugees. "But we are showing flexibility and a willingness to help Ukrainian citizens in general."

Shaked predicted on Thursday that a huge number of Jewish refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine could migrate to Israel. "We think tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of immigrants will arrive from Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet states," she said during a conference with local officials at the Golan Regional Council.

READ: Israel disappoints Ukraine president

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Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsUkraine
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