Israel condemns attack near Kyiv Holocaust memorial, doesn't mention Russia

People attend a ceremony at a monument commemorating the victims of Babyn Yar (Babiy Yar), one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, in Kyiv, Ukraine September 29, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

JERUSALEM, March 1 (Reuters) - Israel condemned shelling on Tuesday near a Kyiv monument to Babyn Yar, site of a World War Two massacre of Jews in Ukraine by German occupation troops and Ukrainian auxiliaries.

Israel's Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre voiced "vehement condemnation" of what it described as a "deadly Russian attack on the vicinity of the (Babyn Yar) Holocaust memorial site", although government statements on the incident did not mention Russia.

"We call for the sanctity of the site to be preserved and honoured," Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said, also voicing "sorrow for the loss of human lives" following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week.

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A statement by Israel's Diaspora Affairs Ministry was similarly phrased.

While it has condemned the invasion and voiced solidarity with Kyiv, Israel has said it is keeping open channels of communication with Moscow in hope of helping to ease the crisis. Israel also sees its Russia ties as facilitating its military actions in next-door Syria, where Moscow has clout. read more

A Yad Vashem statement added: "We call on the international community to take concerted measures to safeguard civilian lives as well as these historical sites because of their irreplaceable value for research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust."

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Writing by Dan Williams Editing by Mark Heinrich

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