Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, August 3, 2022.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told European Union ambassadors Wednesday in a briefing that Israel’s Ukraine policy is not going to change: “We will continue to support and stand with the West, we will not provide weapon systems,” he said.

Speaking to the gathering at the invitation of EU Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev, Gantz emphasized that Israel supports and stand with Ukraine, NATO and the West.

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However, he said that Israel has a policy of supporting Ukraine via humanitarian aid and the delivery of life-saving defensive equipment.

“I plan to review and approve an additional package, as we have delivered in the past,” Gantz said, but emphasized, “Israel will not deliver weapon systems to Ukraine due to a variety of operational considerations. We will continue to support Ukraine within our limitations, as we have done in the past.”

The defense minister noted that Israel has sent a request to the Ukrainians to share information about their needs for air defense alerts. “Once we gain this information, we will be able to assist in the development of a life-saving civilian early-warning system,” he said.

Putin Declares Martial Law in Ukraine Regions
The briefing came as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declared martial law in the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Moscow. Putin ordered the creation of territorial defense forces in Russia-occupied Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine.

He also authorized additional emergency powers to regional heads in Russia, nationwide.

Both orders are to take effect starting Thursday – a deadline by which law enforcement agencies were instructed to submit specific proposals on how they plan to carry out the decrees.

Watching Iran’s Role in Russia-Ukraine War
“We are following Iran’s involvement in the war in Ukraine,” Gantz said.

“We see that Iran provides UAVs and in the near future may also provide additional advanced systems. The Iranians lie methodically about selling this equipment.

“This kind of [Iranian] involvement also takes place in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and additional places and this continues,” Gantz noted.

“Of course, Iran also lies about the nuclear program,” he pointed out. “They continue their activities in terms of enrichment, development, and building protected areas for their nuclear capacities.

“We must increase international cooperation, build an intelligence coalition and create a credible military threat.

“At the same time, Israel will continue developing and maintaining its capabilities,” he said.

Arab Terrorism in Samaria
Gantz told the EU ambassadors that Palestinian Authority terrorists are continuing to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers, particularly in the northern Samaria city of Shechem (Nablus).

The defense minister added that Israel will protect its citizens in the region from the threat.

“We cannot allow this to continue,” he warned. “If it does not stop, I will increase our offensive activities in the area, as needed.”

The briefing was attended by the Director of the Policy and POL-MIL Bureau Dror Shalom and the Military Secretary Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.