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Israeli sources say the minister's call to arm Ukraine does not represent the government

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The State Department took action to distance Israel from a minister’s call to provide military assistance to Ukraine against the Russian invasion, after Russia’s former president warned that the move would “destroy” “all” ties between Jerusalem and Moscow.

Inside chirp On Sunday, Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai said Israel should reverse its refusal to supply Ukrainian forces with weapons, citing a report that Iran will send ballistic missiles to Russia.

“There is no longer any doubt about where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict. “The time has come for Ukraine to receive military aid as provided by the United States and NATO countries,” he said.

On Monday, unnamed government sources stressed to several Hebrew media outlets that Shai’s comments do not reflect government policy and that Israel has not made an official statement on its plans to send military aid to Ukraine.

The statements came after Russian state media directly linked Shai’s tweet with Dmitry Medvedev’s warning on Monday against sending weapons to Ukraine.

“It seems that Israel will supply weapons to the Kyiv regime. A very irresponsible move. He will destroy all diplomatic relations between our countries,” Medvedev said on Telegram.

Medvedev, who was also once prime minister, currently serves as vice-chairman of the Russian Security Council and is considered an important ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) listens to then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the State Council meeting on agricultural policy held at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on December 26, 2019. (Yekaterina Shtukina/Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

His comments came shortly after suicide drones laden with explosives, including apparently Iranian-made Shaheds, hit the Ukrainian capital, killing at least four people, and Kiev urging the EU to impose sanctions on Tehran.

Since Russia invaded on February 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have consistently pressured Israel to supply weapons. Jerusalem has repeatedly sent humanitarian aid shipments to Ukraine, but has repeatedly refused Kiev’s requests for defensive weapons, particularly missile defense systems that could be used to fend off Russian air strikes, despite expressing sympathy for the country’s plight.

Last month, Zelensky said Israel had given his country “nothing” to help it defend itself, noting that its leaders were dishonest in rejecting requests for air defense systems.

Israel’s refusal is that because of Russia’s control of Syrian airspace, the Israeli air force has carried out hundreds of sorties against alleged Iranian arms shipments, and that Jerusalem’s working ties with Moscow to keep Tehran-backed groups away from Russia. seen as an attempt to continue. build a foundation.

Russia has largely turned a blind eye to Israeli airstrikes, but ties between Jerusalem and Moscow have been damaged by Israel’s condemnation of its invasion of its neighbor.

A senior Ukrainian official said Israel was providing “basic intelligence” about Iranian suicide drones deployed to Ukraine by the Russian military.

A drone flies over Kyiv during an attack on October 17, 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Citing an anonymous Ukrainian source, the New York Times reported last week that a private Israeli security firm gave Ukrainians satellite images of Russian military positions.

Additionally, Israel sent over 100 tons of humanitarian aid and set up a field hospital in western Ukraine for six weeks at the start of the war.

It also sent 2,000 helmets and 500 anti-aircraft guns, which the Ministry of Defense says will be given to Ukrainian rescue forces and civilian organizations.

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