Israel’s Supreme Court: Israel Can’t Limit Entry Of Ukrainian Refugees

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Illustrative: Ukrainians disembark from a special flight to Israel from Romania upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport, March 8, 2022 (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

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Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday revoked Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s outline limiting the number of non-Jewish Ukrainian refugees allowed entry into Israel.

The court accepted the petition of Adv. Tomer Warsaw on behalf of the refugees and ruled that the requirement of a visa for Ukrainian citizens seeking to come to Israel for up to three months must be eliminated.

Shaked’s outline, formulated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, allowed up to 5,000 Ukrainian citizens to enter Israel. The quota did not include those entitled to enter Israel under the Law of Return or anyone who received a personal invitation from an Israeli relative.

The court rejected the claim that the outline was necessary due to the state’s fears that the refugees would not leave the country after three months. “According to state data, 4,409 Ukrainian citizens who entered Israel since the outbreak of the war until May 8, 2022, left the country,” the ruling said. “It was determined that this figure contradicts the premise of the respondents, who said that during a war in general, and especially in the case of the war in Ukraine, it can be stated in a sweeping manner that Ukrainian citizens who entered the country did not leave after three months.”

Shaked slammed the decision, saying that her plan has proven to be successful, allowing relatives of Israelis to arrive in Israel and work while “preventing an unprecedented flood [of refugees].”

“It is clear that we cannot allow the unlimited entry of foreigners without knowing whether and when they will leave,” she said. “Therefore, I requested today that the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee hold a discussion on the issue.”

Matan Peleg, chairman of the Im Tirtzu organization responded to the ruling by stating: “Supreme Court judges continue to rampage and destroy the foundations of the State of Israel, this time by crushing Israel’s entry policy and trampling on the powers of the Interior Minister.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)