Israel’s Defense Ministry on Monday, Jan. 30, transferred three bulletproof ambulances to Ukrainian rescue forces, as the Russian invasion of the European country nears its one-year anniversary. The Israeli “Plasan Re’em” company armored the ambulances and equipped them with life-saving medical gear including a defibrillator, and oxygen system.
Recently an additional ambulance was sent to Ukrainian rescue forces and is already assisting in humanitarian activities.
The New York Times reported earlier in January that the U.S. defense establishment was dipping into a store of American ammunition in Israel to help Ukraine replenish its dwindling supply of artillery shells.
“With stockpiles in the United States strained and American arms makers not yet able to keep up with the pace of Ukraine’s battlefield operations, the Pentagon has turned to two alternative supplies of shells to bridge the gap: one in South Korea and the one in Israel,” the Times reported, citing Israeli and American officials.
While intended for U.S. military use in the Middle East, Israel is permitted to access the stockpile during emergencies.
Israeli officials insist that Jerusalem has not changed its policy of only providing Ukraine with humanitarian aid. Israel has shied away from arming Ukraine over fears of upsetting Russia, the leading player in Syria, where the Israeli military has in recent years conducted hundreds of strikes aimed at curbing Iran’s military entrenchment and the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah there and in Lebanon.
Jerusalem has sent aid to Ukraine, including a temporary field hospital on the Polish border when the fighting in that region was at its height. It also has taken in refugees and provided intelligence to the Ukrainians.