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With Kyiv under attack, Ukraine asks Israel to mediate in war with Russia

As Russia’s military invasion presses closer to the seat of the Ukrainian government in Kyiv, Israel has been reportedly asked to mediate between the two countries.

The news, reported by a correspondent for Kan News, an Israeli state-owned television channel, comes as Russia bombards the Ukrainian capital with missile strikes. According to correspondent Gili Cohen, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s first Jewish president, asked Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett via phone on Friday to serve as an intermediary between Ukraine and Russia.

Zelenskyy reached out to Israel because it is “the only Western country” that has “a good enough relations with both countries,” Cohen tweeted.

The Bennett-Lapid government has been divided on how to respond to the crisis in Ukraine. As fear for the safety of Jewish communities in Russia and Ukraine intensifies, Israel has been forced to juggle the interests of its long-running alliance with the U.S. and its joint security operations with Russia regarding Iran’s presence in Syria.

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