WORLD – ISRAEL
Israel has approved licenses to export drone suppression systems that could help Ukraine counter Iranian-made drones used by Russia against Ukraine, according to news portal Axios.
This is the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine that Israel has approved export licenses for possible arms sales to Kiev.
Israel had previously avoided providing military aid to Ukraine, fearing that such a move could strain relations with Russia and undermine Israel’s security interests in Syria.
However, as Russia began actively using Iranian drones in combat operations, the Ukrainian government increased pressure on Israel for military assistance, saying it would be in Israel’s interest to transfer the weapons to Kiev.
According to the Ukrainian side, by using its drones in real combat conditions, Iran can obtain information on their effectiveness and then make improvements to their design, Axios reported.
Exclusively for defence purposes
According to Israeli and Ukrainian officials, the approval of export licenses by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen occurred in mid-February. The licenses were approved for two Israeli companies, Elbit and Rafael.
The systems proposed for purchase to Ukraine use electronic warfare equipment to jam and destroy drones. The systems have a range of about 25 miles and can be deployed near power plants or other important facilities to protect them from drones.
Israeli officials argue that the approval of export licenses is not a change of policy because the systems are purely defensive in nature.