Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will “look into” providing weapons to Ukraine if he returns to his former office after Israel’s national elections, slated for November 1, according to an exclusive report Friday by US Today.
The opposition leader said he was “asked about that recently – and I said I’ll look into it when I get into office.”
Netanyahu also said it is likely he will be asked to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow if he becomes prime minister.
The former prime minister, who enjoyed a close relationship with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, said he is “guided by his vision of reconstituting a great Russian realm.” However, he said, “I hope he’s having second thoughts about it.”
Nevertheless, Netanyahu said he doesn’t want to “play psychologist.” Rather, he said preferred “getting all the information, then making decisions on what and if we do anything in this conflict beyond what has been done so far.”
Part of the issue is the relationship Israel has with Russia in Syria, where Iran is constantly working to intensify and upgrade its military presence and that of its proxies, such as Hezbollah.
Israel’s fighter pilots maintain an ongoing effort to contain and trim back Iran’s presence in Syria.
The “more immediate problem” with Russia, Netanyahu said, is that its planes are flying “side by side” with those of the Israeli Air Force in Syria.
“I wanted to assure – and did assure – the freedom of action of the Israeli Air Force to basically pummel Iran’s positions, military positions that it tried to establish in Syria to open a second terror front against us,” Netanyahu said.
The former prime minister also issued an oblique threat when asked whether heads of state are legitimate targets, USA Today reported.
“If you had an opportunity to dismantle somebody like you-know-who in the last century, would you say that’s legitimate, if somebody’s calling to exterminate you?” he replied.
“Of course it’s legitimate.”