Russia has put Israel on notice over significant ongoing rumors that the Israeli government is preparing to supply Ukraine with lethal military aid. So far its aid has been only humanitarian and non-lethal equipment, with Israeli leaders thus far rejecting repeat requests from Kiev for arms, including the famous Iron Dome anti-air system.
There’s currently no evidence that the Knesset has authorized or pulled the trigger on defensive aid, but some Israeli officials are getting increasingly vocal about the possibility in response to widespread reports of the Iranians sending Moscow ‘kamikaze’ drones alleged to have been used in the latest stepped-up attacks.
The latest international reports suggest Tehran is delivering Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia a part of war-time resupply efforts. Alarmed over the deepening ties and alleged transfers, Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai stated on Twitter Sunday the “time has come” for Israel to join allies in the West in sending arms to Kiev.
“There is no longer any doubt where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict,” Shai wrote. “The time has come for Ukraine to receive military aid as well, just as the U.S. and NATO countries provide.”
On Monday EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said his office is gathering evidence on Iranian drone transfers to Russia, which has reportedly included hundreds of “Shahed” drones. Multiple suicide drones struck central Kiev on Monday. This could pave the way for new, expanded EU sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In response to Israel signaling it could send weapons into the conflict, on Monday top Russian national security council official and ex-president Dmitry Medvedev warned Israel that sending weaponry to Ukraine would destroy relations…
“It seems Israel will supply weapons to the Kyiv regime. A very reckless move. It will destroy all diplomatic relations between our countries,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram.
This morning it was reported that Iran is transferring ballistic missiles to Russia. There is no longer any doubt where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict. The time has come for Ukraine to receive military aid as well, just as the USA and NATO countries provide.
— נחמן שי- Nachman Shai (@DrNachmanShai) October 16, 2022
Tensions have been growing especially after a statement by Prime Minister Yair Lapid a week ago which condemned stepped up Russian airstrikes on Ukrainian cities.
Russian forces unleashed dozens of suicide drones across Ukraine on Monday…
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) October 17, 2022
“I strongly condemn the Russian attacks on the civilian population in Kyiv and other cities across Ukraine,” Lapid said. “I send our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the Ukrainian people.”