Kyiv renewed its call on Israel to send an anti-missile defense system to Ukraine after Friday’s deadly Russian attack on Uman, where Hasidic Rabbi Nahman of Breslov is buried in the early 19th century Was.
“Israel should seize this moment to increase anti-missile and anti-drone support to Ukraine and help protect civilians from Russian war,” said Andrey Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.
To date, Israel has rejected Ukrainian requests for anti-missile and anti-drone defense systems, fearing it would escalate an already tense situation with Moscow. Since last October, it has promised to send out an early warning system that will improve the accuracy of detecting incoming missiles.
“The holy city of Uman has seen missiles rain indiscriminately on sleeping citizens in the latest chapter of Russia’s war crimes epidemic,” Yermak said, referring to the special relationship Israel and the Jewish people have with Uman.
Thousands of Israelis and Diaspora Jews visit Uman every year, especially on Rosh Hashanah, to pray at the grave of Rabbi Nachman, who died in 1810.
Last year, between 7,000 and 10,000 Israelis ignored official warnings against the trip because of the war and went to Uman to take part in the annual pilgrimage.
Ermak declared that “all Israelis – who visit Uman and who have never been but know what it feels like to see missiles rain down on civilians – should pay attention to the carnage there on Friday”.
He accused Moscow of wanting to exterminate the people of Ukraine.
“There is a new genocide in Europe and it is being perpetrated by the Kremlin,” he said.
Yermak said, “We need more support from Israel.”
Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Michael Brodsky, issued a solidarity tweet explaining that Uman “has special religious and cultural significance for Jews around the world.”
“We share the pain of the loss of innocent lives and we stand with the people of Ukraine at this difficult time following the Russian missile strike that killed civilians.”
Russia fired missiles at cities across Ukraine while people slept on Thursday and Friday night, killing at least 25 civilians in the first large-scale airstrikes in nearly two months, as Kyiv said it was withdrawing from the occupied territory. was almost ready to launch a major offensive to take back the. ,
Firefighters battle a residential apartment fire sparked by a Russian missile in the central city of Uman, as rescuers sift through piles of smoldering rubble in a search for survivors and bodies amid concerns from the public.
According to officials, at least 23 civilians including four children were killed. It is estimated that 109 people lived in the part of the block that was hit and that 27 floors were destroyed.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Cohen has agreed to publicly support Zelensky’s peace plan when it comes to a vote at the United Nations General Assembly next week.
“Israel supports the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine and we will support the Ukrainian proposal for a resolution at the United Nations,” he declared.
Israel also agreed to honor the previous government’s promise to provide Ukraine with an early warning system, something former Defense Minister Benny Gantz had already said Ukraine would do last October.
The visit was Israel’s most active public gesture in the past year, coming just six weeks after the inauguration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government.
Zelensky released a positive statement on Cohen’s visit as the foreign minister left town. Israel has always been an important partner of ours in the Middle East. This is the first visit by an Israeli representative since the start of the full-scale invasion,” the president said.
“We talked about deepening bilateral cooperation in various fields. I invite Israel to join us in experimenting with our peace formula; I appreciate the humanitarian assistance provided. We talked about the country’s participation in the post-war reconstruction. “Ukraine can draw on Israel’s experience,” Zelensky said.
“I hope this visit will help deepen our cooperation.”
Israel is under pressure from the United States to do more to help Ukraine economically, securely, and humanitarian, but Cohen’s visit stems from his own deep belief that the Jewish state needs to help the beleaguered country and Needs to do more.
Israel finds itself in a complicated position when it comes to Ukraine, given Russia’s military presence in neighboring Syria and the importance of maintaining ties with Moscow to coordinate actions against Iran in the region.
It is to be hoped that Kyiv understands the complexity of the situation Israel finds itself in and why it hesitates to cross a clear line to Moscow about not providing Ukraine with defensive weapons.