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Israel sending helmets and flak jackets to Ukraine, Gantz says

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

Ukrainian emergency services carry bodies of civilians killed by the Russian troops over the destroyed bridge in Irpin close to Kyiv, Ukraine, March 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian emergency services carry bodies of civilians killed by the Russian troops over the destroyed bridge in Irpin close to Kyiv, Ukraine, March 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Israel is working on supplying Ukraine with defensive equipment such as helmets and flak jackets for the nation’s emergency services amid Russia’s invasion.

Gantz speaks to his Ukrainian counterpart following several requests for such equipment from Ukraine’s defense ministry, his office says.

Gantz “approved the purchase of protective equipment… which will be transferred to the Ukrainian rescue forces and civilian organizations,” a statement reads.

Ukrainian officials have long asked Israel to provide air defense weapons, which Jerusalem refused in order to avoid angering Russia. But Israel also refused repeated requests for helmets, flak jackets and other equipment, much to Kyiv’s chagrin, instead sending only humanitarian aid.

Gantz’s office says the helmets and flak jackets Israel intends to send to Ukraine are “in the process of being procured.”

“The two discussed the world’s efforts and Israel’s efforts led by the prime minister to bring an end to the war. The defense minister wished to emphasize that Israel stands by the side of the citizens of Ukraine, and the need to continue to assist the country, and to act to end the war,” the statement adds.

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