Gantz speaks with Ukrainian counterpart

A spokesperson at the Defense Ministry confirmed the call, telling The Jerusalem Post that the short phone call between the two was a positive discussion.

 Defense Minister and leader of the National Unity Party Benny Gantz at a faction meeting of the National Unity Party at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem on November 6, 2022.  (photo credit: NOAM REVKIN/FLASH90)
Defense Minister and leader of the National Unity Party Benny Gantz at a faction meeting of the National Unity Party at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem on November 6, 2022.
(photo credit: NOAM REVKIN/FLASH90)

Outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov on Monday.

“Had a fruitful conversation with my colleague @gantzbe. We discussed priority issues of bilateral cooperation in the defense domain and the benefits of democracy,” Reznikov tweeted. “I wish @gantzbe every success in further important endeavors in the Parliament.”

A spokesperson at the Defense Ministry confirmed the call, telling The Jerusalem Post that the short phone call between the two officials on Monday was a positive discussion.

The call comes days after Ukraine voted against Israel on Friday in the United Nations in a resolution to request the International Court of Justice to urgently weigh in on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a move that Jerusalem has blasted and said was “extremely disappointing.”

Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov attends tactical exercises, which are conducted by the Ukrainian National Guard, Armed Forces, in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine February 4, 2022.  (credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov attends tactical exercises, which are conducted by the Ukrainian National Guard, Armed Forces, in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine February 4, 2022. (credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)

“Supporting anti-Israeli initiatives in the UN doesn’t help to build trust” between the countries, said Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky.

Kyiv has repeatedly requested military aid from Israel since Russia invaded the country in February and continues to be battered by Russian missile strikes and attacks by Iranian-made drones supplied to Moscow.

What did Gantz say about supplying Ukraine with air defense systems?

Gantz told reporters last week that Israel does not have the production capabilities to supply Ukraine with air defense systems.

“It is clear that even if it was decided that we change our policy, it is impossible to empty our supply of air defense systems,” Gantz told reporters. “We are checking every day what can be done and how we can expand our aid, but we must not forget that NATO stands behind Ukraine.”

Though Gantz has repeatedly said that Israel won’t be able to provide air defense systems due to “limitations” and “a variety of operational considerations,” there are a number of non-lethal systems that can be provided.

“We are checking every day what can be done and how we can expand our aid, but we must not forget that NATO stands behind Ukraine.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Israel has sent over humanitarian aid as well as medical equipment but refuses to send over any weaponry that can be deemed as lethal, including air defense systems. The Jewish state is also reported by foreign media to be helping with intelligence and has offered to help in developing early-warning systems.

Defense sources have said that Israel looks at what can be provided on a daily basis.

Last week Israeli-made Gaia Amir MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles were seen in the Kherson region of Ukraine, which was recently liberated from Russian control.

The Gaia Amir, based on a commercial Ford F550 chassis with independent suspension, is a multi-purpose 4×4 mine-protected armored vehicle that can carry up to 12 people. It is designed to be used for reconnaissance, transportation of the wounded and the supplying of logistics.

“To make today even more notable – for the first time ever, Ukrainian forces were spotted using Israeli-made military vehicles! Here we see an Israeli GAIA Amir MRAP, currently deployed in #Kherson Oblast,” Twitter account “Ukraine Weapons Tracker” said on Friday.

Israel’s Defense Ministry had no comment, but a senior official told Axios that no permission was given to sell or transfer the vehicle to Ukraine, making it likely that a European country that bought the vehicle sent it to Kyiv without Israeli approval.

Roman Meitav contributed to this report.