Health minister pledges to fly injured Ukrainians to Israel for medical treatment

Israel will pay for injured Ukrainians to travel to Israel for medical treatment and allocate millions of shekels for the transfer of medicine to Ukraine, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Wednesday.

Horowitz made the pledge on Twitter, after speaking with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Liashko, and affirmed Israel’s condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Israel condemns the cruel Russian invasion and supports Ukraine. This is our unequivocal position, ”wrote the Minister of Health.

Israel is slowly increasing its aid to Ukraine, a sign of a policy shift underway, after initially trying to remain largely neutral in the conflict with Russia.

Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that Israel had sent Ukraine 2,000 helmets and 500 body armor – the first sent by the Jewish state since the Russian invasion began.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Jerusalem has tried to preserve its ties with Moscow and until recently refused to send defensive equipment to Ukraine. six weeks.

During six weeks of operation, the hospital treated more than 6,000 patients and delivered at least one baby. Most of those treated were not war-wounded, but rather civilians who may have struggled to receive care with Ukraine’s resources depleted by the invasion.

Last month, Israel’s ties to Russia were frayed by Kremlin Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comments that Adolf Hitler had Jewish heritage, in a bid to explain Moscow’s attempts to ” denazify” Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is himself a Jew.

While the Prime Minister’s Office later said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had apologized to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for the comments, the Kremlin has not confirmed that an apology was issued.

Despite the row, Israel has rejected requests from kyiv and the West for military equipment, such as anti-missile batteries, as part of a policy to preserve ties with Russia.

David Arakhamia, the adviser in charge of Ukraine’s negotiating delegation, told The Times of Israel that the Ukrainian government is waiting for a further change in Israel’s positions.

“Demand number one is to stop blocking arms sales to Ukraine,” Arakhamia added in a phone interview. “Israeli suicide bombers are [some] among the best in the world and we have to buy them.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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