Free housing for Ukrainians has already been extended too many times, Welfare Ministry says
Israeli authorities have told some 100 Ukrainians, who fled to the Jewish state amid the conflict with Russia, to vacate government-sponsored housing, according to local media reports.
The people had been informed about the decision last week, broadcaster N12 revealed on Wednesday.
Around 15,000 non-Jewish refugees have arrived in Israel during the conflict in Ukraine, with some being provided with free housing. But the Welfare Ministry has now made it clear that this assistance isn’t going to be indefinite.
“We don’t know what will happen next,” one of the refuges, who would now have to leave a government-sponsored apartment in the town of Ashdod, told N12.
Another affected Ukrainian affected by the turn is claiming that her family is being left with no other choice but “go to the beach and set up a tent there.”
The chairman of Shalu, a group that provides apartments for refugees in cooperation with Israeli authorities, insisted that the people, some of who are elderly and have disabilities, “are told to simply ‘get out’ without being given a solution.”
When approached on its specific move to evict the 100 Ukrainians, the Welfare Ministry explained that “the contract with one of the operators hosting the war refugees has come to an end.”
However, it assured reporters that “tenants who are unable to finance accommodation due to a medical or physical condition have been offered alternatives in a hotel.”
“The period of state-sponsored residence for the war refugees was initially limited to three months and has been extended time and time again,” the ministry also pointed out.
The situation for the Ukrainians is complicated by the fact that they aren’t officially recognized as refugees in Israel, which leaves them ineligible to open bank accounts or to find legal jobs.
Israel isn’t the only country that’s cutting back on aid to Ukrainian refugees. On Thursday Poland’s parliament voted in favor of amendments that require Ukrainians to partially pay for their accommodation in the country, starting in March, while it has also tightened the system of benefits for those arriving from the neighboring state.
December 15, 2022 at 05:16PM