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Netanyahu says that Israel is considering Ukrainian military aid and mediation


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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel is considering providing military aid to Ukraine, which is fighting a Russian invasion, and that it is willing to act as a mediator between them.

The announcement, made in an interview, followed US calls for more active participation.

However, Netanyahu did not make any firm commitments to Ukraine, and Israel maintained a relationship with Russia, which controls the skies over neighboring Syria and turns a blind eye to Israeli strikes on the targets of Iran’s sworn enemy.

The Israeli prime minister was asked in an interview with CNN if Israel could provide assistance to Ukraine such as Iron Dome, the US-backed technology that protects Israel from air attacks.

“Well, I’m definitely looking into it,” Netanyahu said.

He asserted that the United States had transferred an unknown stock of artillery it had in Israel to Ukraine, and described the Jewish state’s operations against Iran as part of a similar effort.

“The United States has just taken a large portion of Israeli munitions and delivered them to Ukraine. Israel is also, frankly, behaving in ways that I will not describe here against Iranian weapons products that are used against Ukraine,” he said.

Ukrainian and Western officials say Iran has sold low-cost drones to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, although Tehran denies this.

Netanyahu said he was asked to mediate in an unofficial role after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but did not follow through because he was at the time in opposition.

He said he was ready to mediate if asked by the two parties and the United States

“I’ve been around long enough to know there has to be a right time and right circumstances. If they show up, I’ll definitely consider that,” he said.

Netanyahu said he believed the Ukraine war was of “great importance” but added, “We have our own backyard to deal with.”

The remarks follow a visit by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who called for calm in the wake of escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians, and also urged Israel to boost its support for Ukraine.

Using language familiar to Israelis, Blinken said Ukraine needed help “because it is bravely defending its people and its right to exist.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Blinken that he will travel to Ukraine to reopen his country’s embassy, ​​the first such trip since the war.

In March, then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made a surprise visit to Moscow to mediate with Putin.

Bennett relayed Putin’s messages to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky but was unsuccessful in arranging direct negotiations.

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