Minister Shaked visits Ben Gurion International Airport
Minister Shaked visits Ben Gurion International AirportRoy Alima/Flash90

Between the start of the Russia-Ukraine war and Monday morning, 6,005 Ukrainian refugees who are not entitled to immigrate arrived in Israel, Israel Hayom reported, after analyzing data from Nativ, the Immigration Ministry, and the Population and Immigration Authority.

At the same time, the number of Russians arriving tripled, reaching 6,126.

Senior sources in the government and sources in the immigration system told Israel Hayom that if the war continues and the situation in Russia deteriorates, there may be a large number of refugees arriving who are not eligible for Israeli citizenship.

"We cannot create an immigration policy which discriminates between Russia and Ukraine," a senior government official said. "Such an approach would have diplomatic significance as well."

Sources in the immigration system said in internal discussions that there are "planes filled with Ukrainians, from Belgium and other countries, on their way to Israel," after Israel changed its policy in a move announced Monday night by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina).

According to estimates from professional sources, due to the change in policy a large wave of Ukrainians is expected to attempt to enter Israel, even if they do not have family or friends in the country.

Israel Hayom noted that on Monday, several Ukrainian citizens who had already been removed from Israel after attempting to enter on false grounds arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport. In one of the cases, the Tel Aviv District Court judge ruled that although the individual has a problematic background, "at this time, the petitioner and those like her should be allowed to remain in Israel."

Prior to the war with Russia, the number of Ukrainians residing illegally in Israel had been 15,000, and was the highest in the world.