Zelensky: Israel starting to change policy, will provide vital equipment

Jerusalem will now provide Ukraine with military communication systems that it had requested well before the Russian invasion began, Zelensky said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel will provide Ukraine with military communication systems, Channel 12’s Uvda program reported exclusively Monday evening, in a show that also aired an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Speaking to Ilana Dayan and Itai Engel, who flew to Ukraine for the meeting, Zelensky told the journalists that his military had asked for these systems months before Russia’s invasion of his country in February. This, he revealed, came even before Ukraine’s well-publicized request for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, which then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had refused.

Zelensky said he is now beginning to feel a change in Israeli policy, most probably linked to Russia’s recent use of hundreds of deadly Iranian kamikaze drones purchased from Tehran.

Israel has reportedly sent sensitive intelligence information to Kyiv about the Iranian UAVs, which have concerned Jerusalem for years, considering the enmity between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic. Israel also recently offered to help Ukraine build a civilian early-warning system.

The president made it clear that his country and Israel have a mutual enemy now, and Ukraine should therefore receive more military aid from Israel.

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“We fight against Iran every day. You (Israel) know what ‘Iranian attacks’ means. We are fighting against a large and new union – Russia and Iran. We have information that Iran sold Russia about 1,500 drones. So let’s think together how much more they (Iran) can use. And not only against Ukraine,” he said.

Since the drone attacks on civilian infrastructure began over the last three weeks, the Ukrainian leader has asked Jerusalem for UAVs as well as help in the cyber sphere.

Zelensky repeated his oft-stated demand that Israel must “choose a side” in this war, saying that the Jewish state should not be like European countries that were “silent” during World War II.

The president has never accepted Israel’s sensitive security considerations in Syria, where Russia helps Bashar Assad’s regime while quietly agreeing to IDF bombardments of Iranian and its Hezbollah proxy’s military sites in the country.

Late last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summarized in a report all the humanitarian aid Israel has sent to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began eight months ago.

Early on, the National Aid Agency delivered more than 200 tons of medical equipment, winter equipment, medicines, and other essential items to Kyiv. Israel also set up and ran for six weeks the only field hospital to date in the country, which treated thousands of sick and injured citizens, and left behind tons of the medical equipment for Ukrainian use.

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Other short-term aid has included about a quarter of a million prepackaged meals and over 1.6 million water bottles to refugees living in shelters. Currently, the Israeli embassy in Kyiv is leading another mission to truck in tens of thousands of kilograms of basic food products for Ukrainian refugees, the report said.

Long-term aid has included six mega-generators to guarantee an electrical supply to six Ukrainian hospitals, 10 water-treatment kits that each supply 100,000 people, and trauma-training programs in Israel for hundreds of Ukrainian medical personnel.

A Ukrainian report noted that Israel has supplied four armored ambulances, 3,500 helmets, 2,000 flak jackets, 1,000 gas masks, dozens of air-filtration kits and hundreds of protective suits for its army’s combat engineers. Twenty seriously wounded Ukrainian soldiers have also been treated in Israel, it said.