Ukraine threatens travel restrictions on Hasidic Jews in response to deportations of Ukrainians from Israel

The Embassy of Ukraine has issued a warning to the Israeli government concerning Hasidic Jews' entry into Uman, stating that if the deportation of Ukrainians from Israel persists, they may not be allowed in. This message was conveyed through a post on the embassy's Facebook page on Sunday, August 20.

Specifically, Israeli pilgrims will be prohibited from visiting Uman during the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, and the visa-free regime between Ukraine and Israel may be cancelled if the deportation of Ukrainians continues.

Yevhen Korniychuk, Ukraine's Ambassador to Israel, responded to President Volodymyr Zelensky's remarks concerning visa issues for Ukrainians, indicating that the President's comments were directed at Israel.

"In regard to Israel, the Ukrainian government will not tolerate the mistreatment of its citizens upon their arrival. We are prepared to suspend the bilateral agreements on visa-free travel as stated in Article 7 of the intergovernmental agreement. This course of action is under consideration by our government," stated Korniychuk.

Moreover, he expressed the challenges of accommodating thousands of Israelis in Uman, highlighting the security risks and extensive logistical efforts, while emphasizing that the Israeli government's behavior towards Ukrainian citizens entering Israel is insulting.

Korniychuk viewed these actions by Israel as "unacceptable" and urged Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to personally intervene and address the issue.

"If Israel desires its citizens to travel to Ukraine as tourists, especially to Uman, I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu should personally engage in finding a resolution to the current predicament," the diplomat remarked.

According to media reports, many Ukrainians traveling to Israel are being sent back to Ukraine. The ambassador revealed that currently, one in every ten Ukrainians is denied entry into Israel.

The State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience estimates that over 30,000 Hasidic pilgrims plan to visit Uman, in Cherkasy Oblast, for Rosh Hashanah.

  Israel, Ukraine