Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the Israeli government on Friday to provide Ukraine with its advanced David’s Sling aerial defense system to use against Russia in the ongoing conflict.
Jerusalem has so far refrained from providing military assistance to Ukraine out of concerns it would undermine Russian-Israeli relations and Israel’s military freedom of action in Syria, where Russia has deployed forces.
In his address at the international Munich Security Conference, the Ukrainian top diplomat pleaded with Israel for assistance, equating Russia and Ukraine with the biblical Goliath and David.
“We have no alternative but to defeat the Russian Goliath. Being David is fighting and we are fighting. Being David is having a sling to win,” Zelenskyy said.
“We do not have yet the David’s Sling from Israel, but I believe it is just temporary,” the Ukrainian president added.
David’s Sling is an advanced Israeli aerial defense system capable of intercepting and neutralizing missiles and rockets launched from a range of 40 – 300 kilometers.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen recently visited Ukraine, where he met with Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“I have arrived today on the first visit of an Israeli minister to Kyiv since the outbreak of fighting. In the last year, Israel stood by Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” said Cohen during his visit to the Ukrainian capital.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a willingness to mediate between Russia and Ukraine if both sides agree to it. Netanyahu even hinted that Jerusalem could reconsider its previous ban on military aid to Ukraine.
However, the Israeli prime minister has notably invested a lot of time and effort in building a strong personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.