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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that the country is in a peculiar situation, different from any Western countries assisting Ukraine for several reasons.
“First of all, we have a close military border with Russia. Our pilots are flying right next to Russian pilots over the skies of Syria. And I think it’s important that we maintain our freedom of action against Iran’s attempts to place itself militarily on our northern border,” the Israeli PM said.
According to him, Israel has concerns that any systems given to Ukraine would be used against Israel because they could fall into Iranian hands, which, as Netanyahu says, happened with the Western anti-tank weapons that Israel now finds at its borders.
“We obviously bemoan the tragedy that’s happening in Ukraine, this horrible loss of human life. We’d like to see it end. And I think we’re also in a special situation where we might find ourselves in the future in a position to help end this conflict,” Netanyahu added.
He also claims “the balanced way” Israel is acting is the right one. According to Netanyahu, most of the heads of governments of Western countries understand that Israel is in a different situation from any one of them.
Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Israeli government has been widely criticized by Ukrainians for refusing to send weapons to Ukraine. The reason for this behavior could be an apparent effort to keep good relations with Russia.
However, in February, Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN he would consider providing military aid to Ukraine, including Israel's Iron Dome defense system.