Israel rejects U.S. request to approve missile transfer to Ukraine - report

Israel turned down a U.S. request to allow Berlin to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles produced in Germany with Israeli technology under an Israeli license, two U.S. and Israeli officials said.

Amir Eshel, director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, visited Washington two weeks ago for talks with Pentagon officials on security cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, Axios reported.

Colin Kahl, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, met with Eshel and raised the Biden administration’s efforts to get countries around the world to supply Ukraine with weapons, according to the U.S. and Israeli officials. Kahl asked Eshel if Israel would give permission to Germany to transfer “Spike” anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, the officials said.

The missiles are produced in an Israeli-owned factory in Germany. According to the license, Israel must approve any transfer of the missiles to a third party.

Eshel rejected the request, telling Kahl that Israel will only supply Ukraine with nonlethal military equipment, the officials said.

A senior Israeli official said Israel is concerned Russian soldiers could be killed by Israeli-made weapons, which could lead to Russia harming Israeli security interests in Syria.