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Israel to open refugee camps in Azerbaijan for Russian Jews fleeing the war

October 14, 2022 at 2:06 pm

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ( 5th L) meets Elchin Guliyev, Chief of State Border Service of Azerbaijan(2nd R) in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 03, 2022. [Israeli Ministry of Defense – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli government is considering opening temporary refugee camps in Azerbaijan with the $25 million set aside for Russian Jews seeking to immigrate to Israel, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the government of Israel approved a proposal, earlier this month, to facilitate the immigration of Russian Jews to Israel, amid the largest wave of Russian emigration to Israel in two decades.

Among the programmes planned in that proposal were temporary camps, set up by the Jewish Agency, in Azerbaijan for Russian Jews seeking to make the move.

The plans also include extending the country’s Law of Return to cater for fourth generation descendants of Russian Jews attempting to flee from Moscow’s mass call-up of reservists to support the invasion of Ukraine.

Most of the emigrants from Russia are Jews, but some may only have close relatives who are Jewish. Under Israel’s Law of Return, a person needs at least one Jewish grandparent to be entitled to immediate citizenship. Around 600,000 Russians qualify. The scale of the migration seems to have taken the Russian authorities by surprise.

Human rights groups regularly highlight this policy when referring to Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 to make way for the creation of the Occupation State. They have been denied their legitimate right to return to their homeland, even though fulfilment of this right was a condition of Israel’s membership of the UN.

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