Bennett speaks with Zelensky, offers humanitarian aid

Public broadcaster Kan says Ukrainian president asked for Israel to mediate ceasefire talks with Russia in Jerusalem, but cabinet rejected the proposal over potential conflict of interest with Russia; PMO did not comment on the report

Reuters, Ynet|
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday and offered humanitarian aid, his office said, while reports claimed Zelensky asked for Israeli mediation with Russia.
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  • After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south before dawn on Thursday, in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
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    נפתלי בנט וולודימיר זלנסקי
    נפתלי בנט וולודימיר זלנסקי
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
    (Photo: GPO, Reuters)
    "Prime Minister Bennett reiterated his hope for a speedy end to the fighting, and said that he stands by the people of Ukraine in these difficult days," Bennett's statement said.
    The public broadcaster Kan said Zelensky asked for Israel to mediate ceasefire talks with Russia in Jerusalem. The report, which Kan said was neither confirmed nor denied by Bennett's office, cited unnamed Israeli and Ukrainian sources.
    According to the report, the cabinet has rejected the idea of mediating the talks due to a potential conflict of interests with Russia.
    While calling for a peaceful solution in Ukraine, Israel has been cautious about openly criticizing Russia, a major player in the conflict in neighboring Syria. It has offered shelter to members of Ukraine's Jewish community caught up in the fighting.
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    נשיא אוקראינה וולודימיר זלנסקי מסר לאומה מ קייב
    נשיא אוקראינה וולודימיר זלנסקי מסר לאומה מ קייב
    Zelensky in a message to his country on Friday evening
    Israel, whose main ally is the United States, condemned the Russian invasion on Thursday as "a serious violation of international order" and has since remained largely muted on Moscow's actions.
    Meanwhile, the Israeli ambassador in Moscow was summoned for talks, the Russian embassy to Israel said on Friday over the Foreign Ministry's decision to condemn the invasion.
    "The hope was expressed that Israel would treat with due understanding the reasons that prompted the Russian leadership to decide to conduct a special military operation to protect civilians in Donbass, demilitarize and denazify Ukraine," the embassy said.
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