(March 15, 2023 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss military support for Ukraine as it fends off a Russian invasion now entering its second year.
Hebrew media reported that the premier was presented with a reexamination of Jerusalem’s policy toward the war, which Kyiv has criticized for not going far enough.
The Israeli government has countered this criticism by pointing out its security considerations, with Russia controlling much of the airspace in neighboring Syria, where Israel is attempting to counter Iranian entrenchment.
However, a senior official told Walla! News that an increasing number of senior officials in the defense and security establishments believe that Israel should start providing more military aid to Kyiv, in ways that will not ramp up tensions with Moscow. For example indirectly, by transferring Israeli weapon systems to Ukraine via third countries.
Russia has warned Israel against supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, Mossad chief David Barnea, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Foreign Ministry Director-General Ronen Levy, Netanyahu’s military secretary Avi Gil and others were present at the meeting.
The meeting came a day before Netanyahu’s scheduled departure for Berlin, where he was expected to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday for the first time since taking office following Israel’s Nov. 1 election.
Germany is another country that has received criticism for not providing enough military equipment to Ukraine. Under pressure from allies, Berlin in early February approved the delivery of 88 Leopard 1 tanks to Kyiv.
Military assistance to Ukraine is expected to be on the agenda during the meeting between Netanyahu and Scholz.
Israel has come under pressure from the United States and other Western allies to provide more military assistance to Ukraine, such as missile defense systems.
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