Israel turns down Zelensky’s offer as ‘it’s not the time’ for visit to nation

Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly intended to pay Israel a solidarity visit, as Tel Aviv reels from the deadly multipronged attack launched by Hamas on October 7.

The Ukrainian leader was planning to make his trip alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who, since the massacre, has been to Israel twice, it is claimed.

But Tel Aviv blocked Mr Zelensky’s reported plan, telling him “it’s not the right time”, according to sources who spoke with Israeli news outlet YNet.

The report stressed the Ukrainian leader was told he might be able to visit the country shaken by the terror attack at a later date.

Given his own nation is fighting a war, Mr Zelensky is said not to be able to pay a visit to Israel during a standalone trip, therefore he is expected to include a stop to Tel Aviv in a future European tour.

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Mr Zelensky has vocally denounced Hamas’ terror attack and expressed solidarity after the group killed more than 1,400 people on October 7.

In his daily address to Ukraine, the president said hours after the attack: “Terror must not be given a single chance anywhere in the world, because terror is always a crime not just against one country or its specific victims, but against humanity as a whole and our entire world.

“Whoever uses terror commits a crime against the world. Whoever sponsors terror commits a crime against the world.

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“The world must stand in unity and solidarity so that terror never attempts to conquer or destroy life anywhere.”

Others in Ukraine, including members of the Patrol Police, also publicly expressed solidarity with Israel in recent days.

Members of the Ukrainian force appeared in a video in which they said: “The Patrol Police of Ukraine stands side by side with Israel at this important moment. And we express our most sincere solidarity to all police and military families of Israel.

“May our mutual friendship and support help Israel to overcome these turbulent times and return to peace and security.”

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Mr Zelensky and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last met in September after the Ukrainian leader delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Following the meeting, Mr Netanyahu’s office said Israel will continue to assist Ukraine in humanitarian issues, including dealing with landmines.

Tel Aviv hasn’t sent military aid to Ukraine following the Russian invasion and has not publicly condemned Moscow for the illegal invasion.

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