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Report: Israel declines air defense request from Ukraine, offers attack alerts

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Israel has offered to help Ukraine develop air attack alerts for civilians amid Russian drone and missile attacks, Reuters revealed, citing Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The system sets off sirens or mobile phone alerts during a missile launch, according to the outlet, adding that Israel has written to Ukraine for the country to share its needs for the system.

Reacting to the offer, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk told Reuters that the system on offer was “not relevant anymore,” and confirmed the authenticity of a leaked letter from the embassy asking for a range of Israeli air defense systems.

Israel Refuses Air Defense Request

Responding to the request at a meeting on Wednesday, Gantz said, “Israel has a policy of supporting Ukraine via humanitarian aid and the delivery of life-saving defensive equipment,” but would not provide weapons systems “due to a variety of operational considerations.”

Israel’s help for Ukraine has been confined to humanitarian aid and lifesaving defensive equipment such as helmets and bulletproof vests for medical teams.

The country has declined to provide weapons platforms requested by Ukraine due to Israeli-Russian cooperation in Syria, where Moscow has reportedly allowed Jerusalem to take out Iranian targets.

Israel is also reportedly concerned about the likely repercussions of helping Kyiv on the Jewish population in Russia.

Systems Requested

Kyiv has requested air defense systems such as Iron Beam, Barak-8, Patriot, Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow Interceptor.

The Iron Beam is not yet operational, while the Barak and Patriot are Israeli joint productions with India and the US.

Iranian Weapons in Ukraine War

The immediate requirement for the systems apparently stems from the Russian use of Iranian drones in its latest attacks on Ukrainian targets.

A request letter sent to Israel mentions the high likelihood of Iranian ballistic missiles such as the Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar being delivered to Russia for its current military operation, an ideal test bed for Tehran to further improve the weapons systems.

This will “significantly contribute to strengthening Iran’s potential of producing offensive weapons and, as a result, will increase the security threats for the State of Israel and the Middle East region,” the letter said.

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