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July 3, 2022 10:27 am

Zelensky Cheers Israeli Supreme Court Ruling Lifting Cap on Ukrainian Refugees

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky talks during an interview with Reuters in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed a decision Sunday by Israel’s Supreme Court that rejected a government policy limiting the number of Ukrainian refugees hoping to enter the Jewish state.

In March, Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced that Israel would accept only 5,000 more Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s ongoing war against the country, not including some 20,000 already present, those with relatives in Israel, or those who qualify under the Law of Return, which allows the immigration of anyone with a Jewish grandparent.

Israel’s high court rejected the state’s approach on Sunday, finding in favor of a petition filed by private attorney Tomer Warsha. The court ruled that Ukrainian citizens seeking to enter Israel for a period of up to three months are exempt from the cap, while emphasizing that the Interior Ministry retained the authority to prevent their entry on an individual basis.

Zelensky praised the decision on Twitter, commenting, “The rule of law and respect for human rights is exactly what distinguishes a true, developed democracy!”

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Kyiv has repeatedly pressed the Jewish state to bolster its support for Ukraine since the February invasion by Russian forces. Addressing students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem last month, Zelensky thanked Israel for providing humanitarian aid but urged its government to join the international sanctions regime against Moscow.

In a statement, Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai said the High Court’s decision “embodies our moral duty as a Jewish nation and state.”

“From the very beginning, I have fought to allow the entry of Ukrainian refugees without the strains of bureaucratic barriers,” Shai said. “I welcome this decision made in favor of humanity and in line with our ethos as a people.”

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