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Israeli diplomat in Ukraine says rate of refugees exiting country slowing down

People who fled the war in Ukraine rest inside an indoor sports stadium being used as a refugee center, in the village of Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, on March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
People who fled the war in Ukraine rest inside an indoor sports stadium being used as a refugee center, in the village of Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, on March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Yoav Bistritsky, Israel’s deputy ambassador to Ukraine, says that the rate of refugees exiting the country appears to have slowed down.

“There is a drop in the movement of refugees heading west, including among Israelis and Jews,” Bistritsky tells Kan radio. Nevertheless, he says, “there are hundreds of inquiries a day to assist Jews in crossing the border.”

Amid a wave of criticism over Israel’s entry policy for refugees, Welfare Minister Meir Cohen says the country should do more.

“The State of Israel is strong enough to deal with a wave of refugees and provide them with whatever they need,” Cohen tells Army Radio. “We must do what the heart orders us to… We need to be much more generous than we seem.”

Currently, any Ukrainian refugee with family in Israel is allowed entry even if they do not qualify for citizenship under the Law of Return. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, 13,662 Ukrainians have entered Israel, and 283 have been refused entry.

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