Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday said large gaps remain in the cease-fire talks between Ukraine and Russia as he seeks to act as a mediator in the conflict.

“There’s still a long way to go, because … there are several issues in dispute, some of them fundamental,” Bennet said during a speech, according to Reuters.

He added that Israel, “together with other friends in the world, will continue trying to bridge the gap and bring an end to the war.”


These remarks comes just one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, criticized Israel’s response to the war.

Why has Israel refrained from sanctions on Russia? Israel needs to give answers to these questions and after that, live with them, said Zelensky in an address to the country’s parliament.

We are turning to you and asking whether it is better to provide help or mediation without choosing a side, he said. I will let you decide the answer to the question, but I do want to point out that indifference kills.

While Israel has strongly condemned Russia’s invasion, it has so far refrained from joining other countries in issuing strong sanctions in response. As NBC News noted, Israeli law only allows for countries that are designated enemies of the state to be sanctioned.

While Israel has not issued harsh sanctions, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has vowed that the country will not become a “route to bypass sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other Western countries.

On Monday, Israel sent an aid delegation to Ukraine to establish a field hospital. While at the airport to see the delegation off, Bennett gave a few remarks, saying Israel was “managing this unfortunate crisis with sensitivity, generosity and responsibility, while maintaining a balance between the various factors and they are complex.”