Israel Will Provide Ukraine With Missile Warning System: Report

Firefighters work to extinguish fire amidst debris of a house destroyed by recent shelling in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in the city of Khartsyzk in the Donetsk region, Russian-occupied Ukraine. Photo: Reuters/Pavel Klimov

Israel will begin testing its civilian alert system that warns of incoming missiles in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv next month, Ukrainian and Israeli media outlets reported on Thursday.

The test of the system, which delivers a red alert warning to residents in areas targeted by missiles, will be conducted by Israel’s Home Front Command, the Israeli news outlet Walla reported.

The system will be connected to Ukraine’s radar monitoring, enabling faster and more accurate alerts to be delivered to mobile phone users, as well as activating air raid sirens only in those areas affected by the ongoing Russian onslaught.

According to Walla, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen promised the delivery of the alert system within six months during his February visit to Ukraine. In the intervening period, Israeli and Ukrainian military officials have reportedly met several times in Poland to discuss the system’s deployment and the necessary modifications, given the difference in size between the two countries as well as the types of missiles utilized by Russian forces.

Ukraine has repeatedly appealed for Israel to match its humanitarian assistance with military aid since Russia launched its invasion in Feb. 2022. Both the previous government and the current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu balked at the request, fearful that supplying the democratic government in Kyiv with weapons would alienate the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which continues to maintain a military presence in Syria, and therefore a potentially serious threat to neighboring Israel.

However, Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, offered a different theory for Israel’s reticence in an interview with a Ukrainian broadcaster on Thursday.

“Politicians make decisions based on the domestic situation,” Reznikov argued. “There is enough of a pro-Russian population in Israel. And accordingly, their parties dance to these tunes. Therefore, they find any reason to say that openly providing aid to Ukraine will mean the destruction of the balance inside the country and expose it to risks.”

Putin meanwhile paid a visit to the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson on Thursday, telling his commanders that he wanted “to hear your opinion on how the situation is developing, to listen to you, to exchange information.”

Putin’s presence was lambasted by Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak, who tweeted that the Russian leader was touring “the occupied and ruined territories” of Ukraine “to enjoy the crimes of his minions for the last time”.

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