Biden to demand Israel give Ukraine Iron Dome system, US officials hint

U.S. says Ukraine has “specific needs” Israel ought to fill, hinting at Iron Dome missile defense system.

By World Israel News Staff

The U.S. is urging Israel to offer Ukraine military aid for the war against Russia, American officials said Wednesday, hinting that the Biden administration may press Jerusalem to transfer the Iron Dome missile defense system to Ukraine.

President Joe Biden is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem Thursday morning, kicking off the second day of Biden’s visit to Israel.

While the two leaders are expected to discuss Iran and efforts to achieve a breakthrough in nuclear deal talks in Vienna, U.S. officials told reporters Wednesday that Biden will also use his meeting with Lapid to request that Israel offer military aid to Kyiv.

Israel has thus far declined to transfer weapons to Ukraine, though the Israeli defense ministry has twice shipped protective equipment – including helmets and bullet-proof vests – to the beleagured country, ostensibly for use by civilians and emergency teams.

The second shipment was announced just before the president’s arrival in Israel this week.

A senior American official said Wednesday that the U.S. will press Israel to meet Ukraine’s “specific needs.”

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“We are happy with the new assistance Israel announced in recent days, but there are specific needs Ukraine has that we are going to talk about with the Israelis,” the official said, according to a report by Axios Thursday morning.

Even before the Russian invasion began this February, Ukraine has sought to acquire Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Following the invasion, however, Jerusalem vetoed proposals by Washington to offer Kyiv the system, amid fears a weapon transfer could lead the Kremlin to actively prevent Israel from operating against Iranian forces in Syria.

Just two days before Biden’s arrival in Israel, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan – a member of the presidential delegation to Israel – told reporters that Russia is importing “hundreds” of unmanned Iranian aerial vehicles, including weapons-capable drones, for use in its ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline,” he told reporters Monday.