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The White House in mid-January requested that the Israeli defense ministry provide old Hawk missiles purchased from the US in the 1960s to the Ukrainian army, according to Israeli officials who spoke with Axios.
However, Israeli officials refused, telling their US counterparts that “there is no change in Israel’s policy not to provide weapons systems to Ukraine.”
“The policy of the security echelon has not changed,” a spokesperson from the Israeli defense ministry told Fox News. “Each request is examined on its merits. Beyond that, we do not refer to additional details.”
Moreover, Israeli officials described the Hawk missile system as “obsolete” given how long they’ve been kept in storage.
A US official who spoke with Axios said similar requests were made to countries with the same arsenal.
Since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine last March, Israel has tried to stay on the sidelines, rejecting most demands for military aid from Washington and Kiev over concerns that such a move could create tensions with Russia, with whom Tel Aviv coordinates to launch airstrikes in Syria.
The latest rejection from Tel Aviv comes just one week after the US said it transferred thousands of artillery shells from weapons stockpiles in Israel to Ukraine.
On 2 January, Israel’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Eli Cohen signaled a policy shift with Russia after their recent souring of relations due to the Ukraine conflict.
Cohen announced that Israel would take a step back on the conflict and no longer publicly condemn Russia while vowing to draft a “responsible” policy on the war. This strongly contradicts Korniychuk’s announcement of the upcoming delivery of warning systems from Israel to Ukraine.
According to a US official who spoke with Fox News, Washington is “looking under every rock” for munitions that can continue fueling the war against Russia. On Wednesday, the US and Germany revealed they would supply Ukraine with Abrams M1 and Leopard 2 battle tanks.
A US official told CNN last year that US stockpiles of specific systems are “dwindling” after months of fueling the NATO-instigated war.
Since the start of the war, the White House has approved approximately $113 billion in economic and military assistance to Kiev. According to government spending data, in 2022, Ukraine was awarded more US taxpayer dollars than 40 US states.