Israel intends to sell the Arrow 3 defensive system to Germany but does not plan to provide Ukraine with protective arms, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Thursday.
“We talked about advancing the sale of the Arrow 3 system to Germany,” Netanyahu said, as he pointed to one of the significant security aspects of his one-day visit to Germany.
He underscored the symbolic aspect of such a sale, given the history between the two countries during World War II when Nazi-controlled Germany killed six million Jews.
“This is a point of historical importance, 78 years ago we were nothing, we were wind-tossed leaves sent to the ovens of destruction," Netanyahu said.
“Now 80 years later the representative of a sovereign Jewish state is talking to the leader of a different a new Germany, a different Germany about having the Jewish state’s defensive systems protect the skies of Germany,” Netanyahu said.
Germany has sought the sophisticated defensive system from Israel out of concern about the possibility that Russia could expand its territorial ambitions beyond Ukraine.
Scholz updated Netanyahu on his conversations with the Biden administration, which also has to approve the sale. It has given its consent but there are still formal steps that must occur, in addition to bureaucratic steps in Germany and further agreements between Berlin and Jerusalem.
Netanyahu and Scholz discuss Ukraine and Russia
The two men privately discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Scholz also addressed the issue publicly.
Scholz called on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine and for Israel to stand with Germany and the United States in its support of Kyiv.
Israel has provided humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine but has ceded to Kyiv’s request for anti-drone and anti-missile systems, such as the David Sling.
Netanyahu in his press conference with Scholz related that Israel was still not ready to offer Ukraine such defensive assistance.