Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday February 13 urged all Israelis to leave Ukraine “as quickly as possible,” ahead of a possible escalation with Russia.
“I call on Israelis in Ukraine: Return home,” Bennett said at the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“Do not take unnecessary risks. Do not wait for a situation in which you will very much want to return but will be unable to do so. Be responsible for your lives and leave Ukraine as quickly as possible,” Bennett was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
“Like the rest of the world, we hope that the tension will end without escalation,” he said. “However, our primary obligation is to look after our Israeli citizens,” he added.
Israel was ramping up on Sunday its efforts to help Israelis leave the east European country. Israeli flight carriers increased Israel-bound flights from Ukraine to accommodate people wishing to depart.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement that 32 flights are planned for the upcoming week. “I call Israeli citizens to get on these flights,” he added.
Over the weekend, Israel started to evacuate Israeli diplomats and embassy employees from Kiev. It also issued a travel warning and called on Israeli nationals to leave the country.