Home Nonmilitary action Israel moves closer to air defense aid for Ukraine

Israel moves closer to air defense aid for Ukraine

An Iron Dome anti-missile system seen near Israel’s border with Lebanon. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday offered to help Ukrainians develop alerts for civilian victims of airstrikes, signaling a relaxation of its non-military response policy after Kyiv called for countermeasures against drones of Iranian manufacture used by Russia.

Despite condemning the Russian invasion, Israel has limited its aid to Ukraine to humanitarian aid, citing a desire for continued cooperation with Moscow over its war-ravaged neighbor Syria and concerns for well-being. of Russia’s large Jewish community.

On Tuesday, Ukraine stepped up calls for Israeli help after reporting several Russian strikes using Iranian Shahed-136 suicide drones. Israel, an enemy of Iran, has developed methods to detect and bring them down.

Iran denies supplying drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented.

Israel has asked Ukraine “to share information on its air defense alert needs,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz told EU ambassadors. “Once we have this information, we will be able to help develop a civilian early warning system that will save lives.”

Asked to respond, Ukrainian Ambassador Yevgen Kornichuk told Reuters the proposed system “is no longer relevant”. He declined to comment further pending further discussions with Israel.

The Russian Embassy in Israel declined to comment.

Along with interceptors that can shoot down incoming aerial threats, Israel has a network of high-tech radars that trigger sirens or cellphone alerts to warn citizens to take cover.

Similar early warning technologies could be offered to Ukraine, an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesperson said.

“It is Israel’s policy to support Ukraine through humanitarian aid and the delivery of vital defensive equipment,” Gantz told EU ambassadors.

Israel, however, would not deliver weapons systems to Ukraine “due to various operational considerations”.