‘Harming civilian population is war crime’: Israeli leaders condemn Bucha massacre

“Intentionally harming a civilian population is a war crime and I strongly condemn it,” Lapid declared.


Several Israeli leaders expressed shock following the photos and footage emerging from Bucha, Ukraine, indicating that the Russian army conducted a massacre in the town and murdered hundreds of citizens.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated Sunday night that “it is impossible to remain indifferent in the face of the horrific images from the city of Bucha near Kiev, after the Russian army left.”

“Intentionally harming a civilian population is a war crime and I strongly condemn it,” he declared.

Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Micahel Brodsky stated that he is “deeply shocked by the photos from Bucha. Killing of civilians is a war crime and cannot be justified.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Kan 11 Radio on Monday morning that he “condemns this kind of murder. It really is a war crime.”

He added that “values such as morality in combat should also be observed in war. Unfortunately, civilians may be harmed in combat, but they cannot be murdered during combat. There was something here that seems like something very serious.”

Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai said that “only international pressure by governments, organizations, and public opinion will stop Russia from committing war crimes in Ukraine. Now is the time to act for the good of us all.”

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has remained silent.

Israel has attempted to maintain a seemingly neutral line and has kept a low profile by showing some support for Ukraine and aligning itself with the West while trying not to anger Moscow, with which it has ties and with which it coordinates its military actions against terror targets inside Syria.