Russia has ordered the Jewish Agency to cease all operations inside the country, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.
The move comes amid tensions centered on Israel’s positions on the war in Ukraine, which Russian forces invaded in February, and ongoing Israeli strikes against Iranian assets in Syria–where Moscow remains the dominant military player.
The Jewish Agency’s primary function is to promote and facilitate Jewish immigration to Israel and, as such, the report said Russia’s “dramatic” decision could prevent Jews from making aliyah.
“People from the Jewish community have been feeling the Iron Curtain setting on them and they fear they won’t be able to escape the country,” the report quoted senior sources in Russia’s Jewish community as saying.
“A number of Jews have said that the Russian authorities are trying to arrest them and that they fear for their lives,” one unnamed person reportedly said.
The Russian government issued the order in a letter sent to the Jewish Agency earlier this week, according to the report. Agency officials, in coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry, are reportedly in the process of formulating a response.