The Israeli government pledged to cover all costs to fly wounded Ukrainian citizens and soldiers to Israel to receive medical treatment, according to Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz.
In addition, millions of shekels will be allocated to send medicine to the war-torn country.
Horowitz held a video call with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Liashko on Wednesday, which was also attended by Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky, who returned to Kyiv on Monday to reopen the embassy in the Ukrainian capital.
During the call, Horowitz promised to examine the possibility that Israel would treat injured Ukrainian soldiers at the request of the Ukrainian minister, according to Ynet. The two also reportedly discussed delivering medical care in Israel to Ukrainian children who have cancer.
An unnamed Israeli official told the local media outlet: “We do not discriminate whom we treat – we will receive wounded people from Ukraine.”
“I just spoke to my colleague, the Ukrainian minister of health. We will allocate additional millions of shekels for medicines that will be delivered directly to Ukraine, and we will make sure to fly the wounded from Ukraine to Israel for treatment - at our expense. I made it clear again: Israel condemns the cruel Russian invasion and stands by Ukraine. This is our unequivocal position, and we are backing it with actions,” Horowitz posted on Twitter following the conversation.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry announced it had delivered 2,000 helmets and 500 vests for emergency and civilian organizations in Ukraine. The equipment was acquired by the Department for Defense Production and Procurement in the Ministry of Defense, the statement said.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz had made the decision to send in new assistance in late April. His office then said in a statement, “This is part of Israel's extensive effort to provide humanitarian aid, which includes the establishment of a field hospital, the absorption of refugees and immigrants, the provision of food and medical assistance, and more.”
Israel was the first country to open a field hospital in Ukraine, located by the Polish border near the town of Mostyska. During its six weeks of operation, the hospital treated more than 6,000 patients and delivered at least one baby, according to the Times of Israel.
Ukraine has been urging Israel to provide military equipment since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February. However, so far, Israel decided to focus its efforts on providing humanitarian and medical aid only, given the sensitivity of its relationship with Russia. Last week, a report by Russian state TV accused “Israeli mercenaries” for meddling in the armed conflict.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.