Posted 22 июня 2023,, 16:43

Published 22 июня 2023,, 16:43

Modified 22 июня 2023,, 16:48

Updated 22 июня 2023,, 16:48

Israel has denied rumors about the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but few people believe it anymore

Israel has denied rumors about the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but few people believe it anymore

22 июня 2023, 16:43
Tel Aviv has confirmed its previous position: not to supply lethal weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, delivering only humanitarian aid to Kiev. But few people believe this, because rumors about possible deliveries of Israeli tanks to Ukraine are still circulating in social networks.
Arms supplies

Sergey Kron

The other day, the Israeli portal Walla spread the news around the world that the Jewish state for the first time in many years decided to sell part of its tank fleet. Two European ones can act as buyers of 200 decommissioned Merkava — which ones are not specified. The first thing Kiev's supporters and opponents thought about was that Israel was ready to support the AFU counteroffensive with its heavy tanks.

There was even more talk after the visit to Jerusalem of the wife of the President of Ukraine, Elena Zelenskaya, who, apparently, was instructed to persuade President Yitzhak Herzog to help Kiev with weapons. However, this time all the conversations revolved around the statement made the day before by Vladimir Putin that «the Ukrainian leader is a disgrace to the Jewish people.» Zelenskaya was outraged. However, the administration of the head of state and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, according to The Jerusalem Post, declined to comment.

It is no secret that the Israeli authorities are being pressured by representatives of the Russian-speaking community, which largely supports Vladimir Zelensky and advocates limiting contacts with the Kremlin. Recently, it almost came to a fight when representatives of immigrants from The Russians who gathered at the walls of the Russian Embassy to protest saw Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel among the guests at the reception. The police intervened in time, and the scandal was avoided.

Ukrainian supporters have repeatedly appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a demand for military assistance to Ukraine. To which he once sharply stated that he preferred a «quiet dialogue» than a war with Russia. Although Netanyahu is genuinely worried when he is informed about Moscow's close cooperation with Tehran.

Dissatisfied with the behavior of Israel, the US and the EU. Washington and Brussels insists on intensifying military-technical cooperation between Israel and Ukraine. The other day, at the insistence of President Biden, negotiations between the Israeli defense ministers and Ukraine — Yoav Galant and Alexey Reznikov. It will again be about the supply of Israeli tanks and missiles.

Experts also do not rule out the option of selling Merkava to third countries with which the United States already has an agreement on the transfer of purchased Israeli military equipment.

It is known that, for example, in the Croatian city of Slavonski Brod, the production workshops of the company «Djuro Djakovic» are located, where they mastered the technology of modernization of the Soviet T-72 tank quite well. The same Poles can deliver Israeli Merkava there and remake them for the needs of the Ukrainian army, having previously removed all secret nodes and devices.

The Israeli writer and political scientist Vadim Romush told «NI» by phone about what the Merkava tank is.:

— Serial production of the Mk.1 started in Israel more than half a century ago, and the Mk.1I version — in 1983. Gradually, they were removed from service and sent for storage to warehouses. In the 1990s, the Israel Defense Forces were supplemented with the latest Merkava modifications — «Mk.III» and «Mk.IV». The last one is classified. The American agency Forecast International annually ranks Merkava among the top ten tanks in the world.

According to the expert, the peculiarity of these machines is that they can practically not be destroyed, because they have very strong protection — not only strong table armor, but also the so-called «visor», forcing the flying projectile to deviate from the target. The principle of operation of this device is classified. At the same time, the car is characterized by high maneuverability and good armament. Inside the tank there is a special compartment for paratroopers.

— Our military, however, claim that Merkava tanks are not capable of effectively fighting in Europe, Vadim Romush said. — These cars were created specifically for Israel. Tanks feel great in the desert and can't stand low temperatures. By the way, due to its inability to adapt to other conditions, the Merkava tank is not in demand on the weapons market. For the same reason, they are not needed in Ukraine.

The United States is acting meanly towards Israel, the political scientist believes. At one time, he said, Washington did not allow the sale of Israeli weapons to Singapore. The Americans did not give the go-ahead for the supply of Israeli fighter jets to China, they do not allow Jews to produce a Galil machine gun, and our army was armed with M-16 rifles. For the same reason, apparently, they do not let the Merkava tanks into Europe.

— Israel's relations with the West are now quite strained. We had a terrorist attack the other day, civilians were killed. And Europe and the United States say one thing: why are you building houses in the West Bank, you need to negotiate with the Arabs. Meanwhile, Russia has moved closer to Iran, which wants to destroy Israel. So we found ourselves in a difficult situation.