Netanyahu May Shift Israeli Policy on Arms Supplies to Ukraine, Says Kyiv’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel expressed hope on Friday that newly-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would agree to supply his country with weapons to combat the ongoing Russian invasion.
“I remind you that during the election campaign, Netanyahu said that he would consider revising Israel’s policy on arms supplies to Ukraine,” Ukrainian envoy Yevhen Korniychuk told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Ukrainian leaders have waged a thus far unsuccessful campaign to persuade Israel to match its extensive humanitarian relief operation with military assistance that would include sophisticated anti-missile systems. Ukraine has formally requested to purchase the Iron Beam, Barak-8, Patriot, Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow systems from Israel.
At the end of October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed frustration with the government of then Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, insisting that Russia’s use of Iranian-manufactured drones against Ukrainian population centers was reason enough for Israel to supply the democratic government in Kyiv with arms. Anxiety over the Russian and Iranian military presence in next door Syria is widely held as the reason for Jerusalem’s reticence on this front.
Korniychuk observed that Netanyahu’s statement on the campaign trail “does not mean anything concrete in political language, but there are certain prerequisites for this position to change.”
“I want to believe that together we will be able to change it,” he added.
The ambassador said that the relationship with Israel was already moving “in the directions that interest us, first of all, of course, military-technical cooperation.” Whether this approach was viable would be known “when the Netanyahu government is formed,” he said.
Separately on Friday, Zelensky accused Russia of engaging in “energy terrorism” after strikes on Ukraine’s system of power generation left more than 4.5 million people without electricity.