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Foreign Ministry: About 450 Ukrainians still unable to leave Israel, Gaza

by Nate Ostiller October 10, 2023 2:11 PM 2 min read
Military vehicles are seen after Palestinian militants launched more rockets at Israeli border towns on the second day of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Around 450 Ukrainians remain in Israel and Gaza amidst intense fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas, Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said in a press conference on Oct. 10.

According to Ukrainska Pravda news outlet, around 300 Ukrainians in Israel and 150 in Gaza contacted the temporary headquarters set up by Ukraine's Foreign Ministry and said they wanted to leave.

Nikolenko added that more than 700 appeals had already been processed. It is unclear if that means they have already been evacuated.

Further information about the total number of Ukrainians dead and wounded is still forthcoming. On Oct. 8, the Ukrainian embassy in Israel confirmed that two Ukrainians had been killed, and Nikolenko said there could be an additional third death.

The Palestinian armed group Hamas launched an attack of unprecedented scale on Israel on Oct. 7, using missiles and soldiers who infiltrated Israeli territory. Fighting in Israel, as well as in Gaza, was still underway. As of Oct. 10, more than 900 Israelis and almost 700 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands more wounded.

There is a large Ukrainian community in Israel, estimated by the Foreign Ministry as being around 500,000, most of whom left Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The vast majority of them are Jews from Ukraine.

In addition, some 15,000-40,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered Israel since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. It is unclear what their status is, or how many have stayed in the country.

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