Israel freezes defense sales to Georgia

Israeli defense officials say Israel has decided to halt sales of military equipment to Georgia in deference to objections by Russia, Georgia's bitter rival. The officials say the freeze is partially intended to give Israel leverage with Moscow in its attempts to persuade Russia not to ship arms and equipment to Iran. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as Israel does not officially publish details of its arms sales. Among items Israel has been selling to Georgia are pilotless drone aircraft, military experts in Georgia have said. Russian fighters shot one down in May, according to UN observers. According to the Israeli daily Maariv, Russia sent Israel a letter of protest after that incident.