Despite another uptick in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, approximately two dozen olim (new immigrants) from Ukraine who are landing in Israel will be moving to their new homes in the Gaza envelope (Ashkelon and Ashdod). The 23 olim who will be moving to their respective homes in the coastal cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod are among a total of 185 olim arriving in Israel from Ukraine on three separate flights arranged by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship).

Many of the olim who are refugees from eastern Ukraine have decided to make aliyah in light of the deteriorating economic situation in the country largely due to ongoing fighting with pro-Russian separatist groups. One of the olim, Anna Timochina (33), who is moving to Ashkelon said:

“I will be in Israel for the first time in my life, and they have already informed me that there is rocket fire in Ashkelon. Of course I am a bit concerned, but I am not very worried overall. First of all, I will be living with friends who have a residential secure space available, and second, I have also heard much about Israel’s Iron Dome. Many consider it to be the most effective missile defense system, and I am sure that’s the case. Ultimately, I am filled with excitement about fulfilling my grandmother’s dream of moving to Israel. It took a lot of time and effort, and I am happy that I have finally made it to Israel.”

Olga Kostyev (48), who is moving to Ashdod with her husband Yuri (57), said: “We heard there were rocket attacks, but we have also heard that Ashdod has yet to be hit. But even so, we are not afraid. We were in Israel a year ago when we were protected and sheltered from the rockets in a residential secure space that was available.”

An additional seven flights organized by The Fellowship will be arriving this week, carrying a total of 50 more olim from Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and France.

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