Gantz: No weapons sales to Ukraine, but Israel could supply civilian warning system

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks to ambassadors from EU nations on October 19, 2022 (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks to ambassadors from EU nations on October 19, 2022 (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz reiterates that Israel will not send weapons to Ukraine, but says Jerusalem could build the embattled country a civilian early warning system to warn of incoming strikes, like the one used in Israel.

Speaking to ambassadors from EU nations a day after Ukraine said it would submit a formal request for Israeli air defense systems like Iron Dome, Gantz ruled out such a move.

“Israel conducts a policy of supporting Ukraine through humanitarian support, and the supply of life-saving systems and defensive equipment,” Gantz said.

“However, I would like to emphasize that Israel will not transfer weapon systems to Ukraine due to a variety of operational considerations. We will continue to support Ukraine within our limitations, as we have done so far,” he said.

“As part of the expansion of aid and the supply of life-saving equipment, after a conversation with representatives from Ukraine, we applied for data that would allow us to assist in the construction and supply of a smart alert system like there is in Israel against aerial and other threats,” Gantz says.

“Such a system will have advantages both in saving civilian lives and in targeting alerts and alarms to the relevant areas,” he said.

Israel has been hesitant to send weapons to Ukraine, fearing it could impact its sensitive ties with Russia, which has a large military presence in Syria.

Israel’s warning system uses a mix of radars and electrooptic devices to detect incoming launches, classify the size and the threat they represent, and pinpoint on a map the areas that are in danger.

Citizens receive warnings through sirens, alerts on their phones and messages on the TV and radio.

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