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Israeli Defence Minister denies supply of weapons to Ukraine due to “operational limitations”

Benny Gantz, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry, denied the supply of weapons to Kyiv during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov on the 24th of October. A summary of the conversation appeared on Gantz’s Twitter account.

The minister expressed his condolences to Ukraine for the loss of life and the humanitarian crisis caused by the war. Gantz noted that Israel is on Ukraine’s side and will continue to support the country and its people by sending humanitarian aid and civilian warning systems. However, according to him, there are “operational limitations” that prevent Israel from supplying weapons systems to Ukraine.

Reznikov was curt in describing the call with Gantz, tweeting: “Had a conversation with @gantzbe. We discussed the security situation in Ukraine as well as ways to further develop our bilateral cooperation. We also discussed the provision of humanitarian and medical assistance.”

In October, Israeli Minister of Diaspora Nachman Shai said that “it is time to provide military assistance to Ukraine as the U.S. and NATO countries do.” He called for the start of arms supplies after reports of Russia buying ballistic missiles from Iran. According to the minister, there was no doubt what side Israel should take “in this bloody conflict.” On October 18, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba submitted a proposal to President Zelensky to sever diplomatic relations with Iran “in view of the numerous destructions caused by Iranian drones to Ukraine's civil infrastructure, as well as the deaths and suffering inflicted on the people.”

The Insider's source in Israeli diplomatic circles previously noted that the country's authorities are unlikely to agree to supply weapons to Ukraine:

“Israel has sensitive interests in which Russia could take a position dangerous to Israel and even harm its national security. Israel understands that, so the supply of weapons or military technology to Ukraine is unlikely. Israel and Russia have a channel of communication regarding Syria. If [the supply of weapons to Ukraine] is a red line for Russia, then Israel will not transfer weapons or technology to Ukraine. This is unlikely. As for Russia, there have been no deliveries of weapons or military technology [to Russia from Israel] after 2014, there is not a single contract in force and there won’t be under current conditions.”

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