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Israel proposes to resolve Jewish Agency out of court

A picture shows a sign at the entrance to the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) office in Moscow on July 28, 2022. - A Moscow court July 28, 2022 held a preliminary hearing on closing the Russian branch of Israel's Jewish Agency, amid warnings from Tel Aviv that the move would have "serious" consequences on relations between the two countries. In a surprise move, a Moscow court said last week that the justice ministry had requested the "dissolution" of the Jewish Agency because of unspecified legal violations. The agency, established in 1929, has had offices in Russia since 1989 and processes Jewish immigration to Israel. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows a sign at the entrance to the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) office in Moscow on July 28, 2022 [KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images]

Senior Israeli officials have proposed to resolve the Jewish Agency issue with the Kremlin out of court, Walla news website revealed on Tuesday. According to the officials, the occupation state prefers a political resolution of the issue rather than a judicial one.

The Ministry of Justice in Moscow has filed a complaint against the Jewish Agency and a court in the Russian capital is scheduled to look into the issue on 19 August. "With the legal proceedings going ahead," the Israeli officials told Walla, "the prospects of reaching a solution that stops the banning of the agency's work in Russia will recede further."

Israeli Hayom has quoted an official at the Moscow District Court as saying that the Justice Ministry aims to "shut down" the Russian branch of the agency.

Phone discussions between Israeli President Isaac Herzog and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin aimed to ensure that there were no political reasons behind the issue. Media reports said that the two conducted a "lengthy" and "warm" conversation. It was noted that the measure against the Jewish Agency was not a result of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid's criticism of Russia's war in Ukraine.

One report quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that Putin showed his desire for the resolution of the issue of the Jewish Agency through the courts. The official pointed out that Russia would not prevent Jews from migrating to Israel despite Moscow's discontent with the emigration of its citizens.

READ: Why did Moscow shut down the Jewish Agency office?

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