DThe fact that the Israeli government has now apparently approved the delivery of anti-drone electronic systems to Ukraine is a remarkable change of course. After the outbreak of the war, the country even tried to mediate between Moscow and Kiev.
Above all, Israel did not want to provoke the Russians, since Putin’s tacit approval was a prerequisite for Israeli operations in Syria. The Russian armed forces control large parts of the airspace of their Syrian ally.
That Netanyahu is not seeking a complete break with Russia can be seen from the fact that Israeli officials present the matter as purely defensive support. In addition, the country’s self-interest is emphasized, because the Israelis could test in Ukraine how well their defense system works against Iranian drones that Russia is using there.
That may have played a role in the decision for the export licenses, but the whole thing also shows a geopolitical shift: In Israel, people have apparently come to the conclusion that the Russians need to reduce their military involvement in Syria. One of the many costs that the Ukraine war is burdening Russia with is the weakening of its position in the Middle East, which it has built up with some effort.
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