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More than 5,000 Ukrainians inquire about moving to Israel: agency

Demonstrators protest outside Israel's parliament in Jerusalem against Russia's invasion of Ukraine
— Jerusalem (AFP)

The Jewish Agency said Monday that more than 5,000 Ukrainians have inquired about moving to Israel after Russia launched an invasion of their country.

The agency, created in 1929 before Israel was established, processes Israeli immigration for Jews in the diaspora.

A spokeswoman told AFP that the agency has set up a hotline following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week to assist Jews wanting to immigrate.

So far there have been more than 5,000 requests, she said.

The agency has also set up six processing stations at Ukranian border crossings with Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary.

The stations "are meant to immediately assist the expected waves of immigration due to the war in Ukraine", a statement said, and more will be staffed as needed.

Israeli government officials are responsible for evaluating the eligibility of immigration claims.

According to Israeli law, Jews, their children, grandchildren, and spouses are eligible for citizenship.

The Israeli foreign ministry said at least 2,000 Israelis have left Ukraine since Thursday, and estimated that at least another 6,000 Israelis remain in the country.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian foreign ministry in the Israeli-occupied West Bank said it was working to help some 2,600 Palestinians in Ukraine, including hundreds of students.

Palestinian embassy workers had assisted dozens of students who evacuated to Romania and Poland, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Deek said.