PM Naftali Bennett is surrounded by security after leaving a meeting with top officials at the Knesset, Feb. 21, 2022. (Ariel Leib Abrams/Flash90) (Ariel Leib Abrams/Flash90)
Naftali Bennett

“The consequences of the crisis, in its diplomatic, economic and security aspects, were reviewed in the discussion,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

By JNS.org and United with Israel Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held an assessment of the situation regarding Ukraine and Russia on Thursday with senior officials.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the leaders said that the main points for Israel during the crisis were a continuation of efforts to evacuate Israelis from the area, aid to the Jewish community in Ukraine and preparations to receive olim, preparations to render humanitarian assistance as necessary and continued discussions on the situation as it pertains to Israel.

“The consequences of the crisis, in its diplomatic, economic and security aspects, were reviewed in the discussion,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Participating in the discussion were Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, National Security Adviser and Director of the National Security Council Eyal Hulata, the Prime Minister’s Office Director-General, the Foreign Ministry Director-General and the Finance Ministry Director-General as well as representatives from the IDF, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and National Information Directorate.

“I was in Kiev at night and we woke up this morning to the sound of heavy gunfire, artillery fire that as far as we understand is aimed at the army and not at the population,” Rabbi Liron Edri, chairman of the Association for the Development of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, told Channel 12.

“Of course there was a commotion; many people are trying to leave Ukraine [but] the train stations are closed,” he said.

Edri praised his fellow rabbinic and community leaders,who are “strengthening the hands” of their local Jewish populations so they do not panic. Still, an emergency meeting of rabbis is reportedly being planned to decide whether to evacuate children to safer areas.

Chief Rabbi of the city of Lviv, Mordechai Shlomo Bold, told Channel 14, “Now everyone is shaking here.”

Speaking at an IDF officer graduation ceremony Thursday in southern Israel, Bennett noted that the “world order is changing” and that it is becoming “much less stable, and our region too is changing every day.”

“These are difficult, tragic times,” the Israeli leader said. “Our hearts are with the civilians of eastern Ukraine who were caught up in this situation.”

On Friday, Bennett spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky, offering Israel’s assistance with any humanitarian aid needed and updating the Ukrainian leader on the steps already taken in this regard.