How to get out: Israel’s instructions to its citizens for leaving Ukraine

Urging Israelis to exit, Foreign Ministry is directing them to cross land borders into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova, from where officials will help them get home

A Polish border guard at the Medyka crossing into Ukraine seen on the Polish side, Feb. 19, 2022. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)
A Polish border guard at the Medyka crossing into Ukraine seen on the Polish side, Feb. 19, 2022. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

With a Russian invasion of Ukraine underway and some 8,000 Israelis believed to still be in the country, the Foreign Ministry is calling on Israelis to exit the Eastern European nation with renewed urgency, and has mobilized to assist all those wishing to leave.

Ukraine’s airspace has been completely closed off for civilian air traffic, and the only option to leave is through land borders to the west.

The Israeli Embassy is no longer operating from Kyiv, with operations moved to the western city of Lviv for safety reasons.

Consular representatives from the Foreign Ministry are now stationed at all border crossings near Lviv in order to help Israelis leave, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has said. “Our representatives are ready to receive you,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett added on Thursday afternoon.

  • The crossings are: Medyka-Shehyni (Poland) which is very crowded, Vysne Nemescke (Slovakia), Zahony-Chop (Hungary), Siret (Romania) and Mogilev-Podolskiy (Moldova).
  • Israelis arriving at border crossings are encouraged to display on their bodies (if on foot) or on their vehicle a prominent sign with the letters ‘IL’ so that Israeli representatives can locate them quickly in crowds and assist them.
  • Citizens who need assistance or guidance can contact the Foreign Ministry situation room at +972-2-5303155.
  • The embassy now operating from Lviv has two hotlines for Israelis to call: +380 67 770 3536 and +380 67 770 4216.

The Foreign Ministry said it is in contact with Ukraine’s local Jewish leadership. A spokesperson for the ministry said Israel has yet to receive calls for assistance from the Ukrainian Jewish community.

The ministry has also called on Israeli citizens in Ukraine who have not yet registered with the embassy to do so via a specially provided webpage in Hebrew, Ukrainian, and Russian.

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