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Israel issues travel warning for Ukrainian town ahead of annual pilgrimage

An ultra orthodox Jewish man performs a ritual baptism before the Jewish new year at the lake near the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the Ukrainian city of Uman. | Reuters

An ultra orthodox Jewish man performs a ritual baptism before the Jewish new year at the lake near the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the Ukrainian city of Uman. | Reuters

Published Jul 27, 2022

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Israel warned on Tuesday its citizens to refrain from travelling to the Ukrainian city of Uman for pilgrimage for the Jewish High Holidays, citing the fighting there.

The “explosive security situation, including the danger of airstrikes or rocket fire at civilian communities, poses a real and immediate danger to life”, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

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The ministry called on Israelis to leave Ukraine “immediately”.

“The Ukrainian government has declared a state of emergency as of February 2, which results in restrictions on the freedom of movement and a curfew on various areas,” the statement said.

“The Israeli embassy does not have a continuous presence in the territories of Ukraine these days,” it added.

The Israeli travel warning came weeks after the Ukrainian embassy in Israel announced that Kiev was cancelling the annual Jewish pilgrimage to Uman because of the crisis with Russia.

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For years, tens of thousands of Israeli pilgrims would travel to Uman in central Ukraine during the Jewish New Year in September or October to visit the grave of a late Rabbi.

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