Israel will setup a field hospital in Ukraine in the coming days, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday, to treat victims of Russia’s attack on its southern neighbor.
Additionally, Israel will send six large generators to the main hospital in Lviv to “allow for its continuous operation even without its regular power supply,” the ministry said in a statement. It also plans to set up assistance centers for refugees at Ukraine’s border crossings, where winter clothes and supplies will be handed out.
Foreign Ministry officials say at least 10,200 Israeli citizens have now left Ukraine since the government first appealed for them to do so three weeks ago. More than half have left since the start of the Russian invasion last month.
Also on Sunday, three planes carrying about 300 Ukrainian Jews arrived in Israel, among them ninety orphans. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was at Tel Aviv airport to receive the new arrivals.
Under Israel’s law of return, any Jew can request Israeli citizenship. With Ukraine home to a large Jewish population, Israeli officials say they are preparing for a potential wave of tens of thousands of Ukrainian emigres.
Several people who spoke with CNN after arriving from Ukraine on Sunday said they had planned at some point to move to Israel but said the war had sped up the process.
Lena, originally from Odessa, arrived with her two young boys after traveling since the outbreak of hostilities.
“I was planning to come here but when the war started it was immediately decided,” she said.
Lena told CNN she had been forced to leave her husband behind, since men under the age of sixty are not permitted to leave the country, following a law passed in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
“We are in shock, but I hope everything will be great now,” she said.
Toavia from Kyiv told CNN she thinks many Jews will now move to Israel.
“I know people who had not planned to come, but [the invasion] changed their plans. This is happening to lots of Jews,” she said.
Toavia added she was excited to make it to Israel but said she wouldn’t feel complete until she hugged her family, who have left the country via a different route.
“I think I am still shaken because I’ve seen war,” she said.
Meanwhile, Israel’s leaders continue diplomatic efforts. A day after his surprise visit to Moscow for a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had a phone call with the Russian leader Sunday, according to a statement from the PM’s office.
Bennett also spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. While no details of the phone conversations were released, Bennett told Cabinet colleagues earlier in the day he believed Israel had a special responsibility to pursue a diplomatic breakthrough.
“Even if the chance is not great, as soon as there is even a small opening, and we have access to all sides and the capability, [then] I see this as our moral obligation to make every effort,” he said.
Monday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will fly to Latvia for a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.