Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai
Diaspora Minister Nachman ShaiForeign Ministry

Diaspora Affairs Minister Dr. Nachman Shai sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett this morning requesting that Israel immediately remove the demand for a NIS 10,000 deposit which it is currently demanding from refugees arriving in the country.

“Such a demand at this moment is inhuman and immoral,” wrote Minister Shai to the prime minister.

“It automatically restricts the entry of refugees to Israel who do not have relatives and do not have the means to meet this demand. I request that you immediately give instructions to cancel the requirement for these deposits for Ukrainian citizens arriving in Israel.”

Last week, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevhen Korniichuk slammed the decision of Israel's Interior Ministry not to accept Ukrainian refugees from Poland or Hungary.

Ambassador Yevhen Korniichuk told reporters at a press briefing Tuesday that he was disappointed by Israel’s decision, comparing Ukrainian war refugees to Jews seeking shelter from the Holocaust during World War II.

“Dozens of Ukrainian citizens were sent back from Ben Gurion International Airport to the countries from which came over the past few days,” said Korniichuk. “Thousands of Righteous Gentiles in Ukraine saved Jews during the Holocaust.”

“This is a humanitarian issue, and I ask that it be reconsidered. Demanding cash guarantees of 10,000 or 20,000 shekels is very difficult. We are asking for your help. They aren’t coming here to work. They are fleeing war.”