An attack drone is seen in the sky seconds before it hit a building in Kyiv on October 17, 2022.
Jerusalem – The Israeli government has approved the sale of an electronic system to help Ukraine protect against drone attacks. The news website The Times of Israel reported on this with reference to unnamed officials, according to which it is the first military equipment for Kyiv since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February. An Israeli official said the approval of the sale of the anti-drone system does not mean a change in Israeli policy, as it is a defense system that does not use missiles that could kill Russian soldiers. According to the Ukrainian official, his country is pleased with the help, but would rather need anti-missile systems.
The Times of Israel cites a report from the Israeli website Walla, which refers to several unnamed Israeli and Ukrainian officials. According to these sources, in mid-February, Israeli Foreign and Defense Ministers Eli Kohen and Joav Gallant approved export licenses to two Israeli companies – Elbit and Rafael – to sell an electronic army anti-drone system capable of intercepting a drone within a radius of about 40 kilometers. According to the Walla server, Kohen informed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the approval of this defense mechanism during his visit to Kyiv on February 16.
An unnamed Israeli official of the Walla server also said that Kohen and Gallant approved the licenses, possibly so that the Israeli government could verify how this defense system works against Iranian drones. Tehran, which is Israel's biggest enemy in the region, has sent thousands of its drones to Moscow, which the Russian army uses to attack Ukraine's critical infrastructure in particular.
Since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last February, Israel has not provided any military equipment to Kyiv. but sends humanitarian aid there. According to The Times of Israel, one of the reasons for this cautious stance is the interest of the Israeli government to continue shelling the bases of militant groups allied to Iran in Syria, where Russia, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, controls a large part of the airspace.
< p>After the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the previous Israeli government tried to maintain a neutral position and mediate peace negotiations. The Prime Minister at the time, Naftali Bennett, also flew to Moscow for this reason and spoke several times with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelensky. But his effort was unsuccessful. Benjamin Netanyahu's new government, which has been in office since the end of December, voted last month along with more than a hundred UN countries for a resolution calling on Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine.