Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced that her government would take the decision to create seven to twelve new “residential areas” in the Negev region “to house new Jewish immigrants”, Israeli media reported.
“We believe that tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of immigrants will arrive from Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet states,” Shaked told Channel 7, adding that the new communities would “strengthen the Negev” and be “necessary to absorb the expected wave of new immigrants.
Shaked: “Naturally, Israel is focused on absorbing Jewish refugees under the Law of Return, but is flexible and ready to help Ukrainian citizens in general.”
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) March 4, 2022
Calling on the heads of local councils to prepare for the absorption of immigrants, Shaked pointed out that there was a “national housing crisis” in Israel.
“What will happen when new immigrants come to us from Ukraine and Russia,” she reiterated, adding that more homes needed “aggressive and rapid construction to accommodate the massive arrivals.”
Interior minister responds to criticism of Israel’s rejection of Ukrainian refugees. “Our goal must be to protect Israel’s interests.” https://t.co/SmLPJChVsz
— Israel National News — Arutz Sheva (@ArutzSheva_En) March 1, 2022
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, expressed “disappointment” upon learning that “Ukrainian asylum seekers were being detained upon arrival in Israel,” The Times of Israel reported.
The Israeli newspaper also reported that the ambassador “expressed his dismay that Israel continues to refuse to provide much-needed military helmets and vests for military and civilian protection.”
(The Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, social media)