A report in Yedioth Aharanoth Tuesday claims that Israel barred the US from selling Iron Dome missile defense batteries to Ukraine, and ultimately convinced the US to drop the possible sale to Ukraine.
The report claimed that Ukraine first became interested in purchasing the Iron Dome missile defense system last spring.
After the May 2021 conflict between Israel and Hamas, Ukraine launched a bid in Washington to win support from US lawmakers for the sale of Iron Dome missile batteries.
But since the Iron Dome system was jointly developed by Israel and the US, both partners must approve sales to third countries.
Off the record, Israeli officials have told the Biden administration that Israel cannot permit the transfer of Iron Dome batteries to Ukraine, given the current situation with Russia, and Israel’s complicated relationship with Moscow.
Ukraine has since formally requested to purchase both the Iron Dome missile defense system, and US-made Patriot missiles.
In recent months, Ukraine appealed directly to the Bennett government, requesting Israel’s support in receiving Iron Dome batteries.
In early February, the Ukrainian foreign minister gave an interview with the Israeli Kan media outlet, emphasizing Ukraine’s desire to obtain Israeli weapons systems.
But according to the Yedioth Aharanoth report, Israel remains firm in its opposition – in part due to the country’s complicated relationship with Moscow, and Russia’s position in Syria.
The report also claimed that Israel has won over the Biden administration, with the potential Iron Dome sale being scuttled completely.
Ukraine is still hoping to purchase Patriot missiles, though the Biden administration is expected to turn down the request.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report.
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