Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued the strongest statement by a senior Israeli official directly accusing Russia of war crimes after photos emerged of dead bodies in the streets of Bucha and other reports of atrocities in the city.
“The images and testimony from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenseless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes,” Lapid said.
“A large and powerful country has invaded a smaller neighbor without any justification. Once again, the ground is soaked with the blood of innocent civilians,” Lapid said.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett avoided directly casting blame on Russia. He expressed shock "by the horrific pictures coming out of Bucha, terrible scenes, and we strongly condemn them."
"The images are very harsh. The suffering that the Ukrainian people are facing is huge and we are doing all that we can to help,” he said.
Lapid also tweeted that "It is impossible to remain indifferent in the face of the horrific images from the city of Bucha near Kyiv, from after the Russian army left. Intentionally harming a civilian population is a war crime and I strongly condemn it."
This is not the first time Lapid has taken a tougher stance against Russia, while Bennett has strived for some neutrality. Israel is in a hard position with the Russian military in neighboring Syria where the Israeli air force frequently launches attacks on Iranian targets with Russian consent.
Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS