Thousands of Soviet Jewish immigrants landed in Israel Friday and Saturday in an airlift triggered by the uncertain political situation in the Soviet Union.

Israel Radio said more than 5,500 Soviet Jews had landed at Tel Aviv airport since Friday morning and more were expected by Sunday.On Friday, the Israeli government told state airline officials to prepare all available planes for a major airlift of Soviet Jews from Bucharest, Budapest and Warsaw, transit points for Soviet Jews.

There are no direct scheduled flights between Israel and the Soviet Union and no full diplomatic relations since Moscow broke ties over the 1967 Middle East war.