Russia-Ukraine War: Israel delivers helmets and vests to Ukraine

2,000 helmets and 500 vests were donated to Ukraine for the use of local rescue and emergency services.

 Israeli helmets and vests delivered to Ukraine on 5/18/22 (photo credit: Communications Office for the Minister of Defense)
Israeli helmets and vests delivered to Ukraine on 5/18/22
(photo credit: Communications Office for the Minister of Defense)

Israel delivered 2,000 helmets and 500 vests to emergency and civilian organizations in Ukraine on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry announced.

“Israel’s policy is in the right position both in terms of values and strategy,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday. “We have the right to provide extensive humanitarian assistance, and to support Ukraine with additional non-offensive equipment, in a manner that is in line with Israel’s broad operational considerations, which are also important to greater regional stability. The prime minister’s mediation efforts in this arena are also important.”

Haaretz reported that Israeli officials have weighed sending many kinds of defensive items to Ukraine, but anti-air systems and other weapon platforms were not being considered.

Gantz said last month that Israel would provide Kyiv with protective gear for rescue organizations. The promise came after a discussion with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.

“This is part of Israel’s extensive effort to provide humanitarian aid, which includes the establishment of a field hospital, the absorption of refugees and immigrants, the provision of food and medical assistance, and more,” Gantz’s office said at the time.

 Workers handle packages of Israeli humanitarian aid destined for Ukraine at Ben-Gurion Airport on March 1. (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS) Workers handle packages of Israeli humanitarian aid destined for Ukraine at Ben-Gurion Airport on March 1. (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

“Israel has been stretching out its hand to aid in the crisis in Ukraine for several weeks, from the first minute, in different, varied channels,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in March as he saw off a team for an Israeli field hospital in the besieged Eastern European country. “We are managing this unfortunate crisis sensitively, generously and responsibly while balancing the different considerations – and they are complex.”

The “Shining Star” field hospital in Mostyska, which operated for six weeks, closed on April 28 after treating more than 6,000 patients. The project included over 16 tons of aid.

Anna Ahronheim and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.