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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s Protection Ministry on Thursday mentioned it has begun talks to promote a sophisticated missile protection system to Germany. The announcement got here two weeks after Israel mentioned it was promoting one other missile protection system to NATO’s latest member, Finland.

Though Israel has lengthy had shut financial and army ties with western European international locations, the newest offers might draw the eye of Russia.

Israel has repeatedly rebuffed requests to promote arms to Ukraine for concern of antagonizing Russia. It seems to be relying on the truth that the newest offers contain solely defensive weapons. Israel’s Protection Ministry additionally famous that each offers would additionally want U.S. approval, as a result of the methods have been collectively developed with the USA.

In Thursday’s announcement, the ministry mentioned it launched “superior negotiations” this week with its German counterparts over the acquisition of the “Arrow 3,” a system designed to intercept long-range missiles outdoors the environment.

Germany has beforehand expressed curiosity within the system and been pushing to coordinate a European air protection system with some 15 international locations.

“We worth the chance to share our capabilities with the companions and allies of the state of Israel,” mentioned Boaz Levy, chief government of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, the first builder of the Arrow system. “Throughout the framework of this settlement, we additional deepen our safety ties between Israel and Germany.”

Earlier this month, the Israeli Protection Ministry mentioned it had reached an settlement to promote its “David’s Sling” system to Finland. The system is supposed to defend in opposition to medium-range aerial threats, together with ballistic and cruise missiles and drones.

The deal was valued at practically $350 million. “I’m assured that the cooperation between our international locations will additional improve our readiness to reply to regional and international threats,” Protection Minister Yoav Gallant mentioned on the time.

Whereas Israel has expressed assist for Ukraine in its warfare in opposition to Russia, it has turned down requests to supply weapons. As a substitute, it has delivered humanitarian assist to Ukraine and promised to ship a complicated air protection warning system.

Israel has a fragile relationship with Russia. It maintains safety coordination with Russia in neighboring Syria – the place Israel has carried out a whole lot of airstrikes in opposition to Iranian army positions lately. Russia can be house to a big Jewish group.

Uzi Rubin, the previous director of Israel’s missile protection program, mentioned Israeli gross sales of missile protection methods to Ukraine are unlikely anytime quickly. However he mentioned the take care of Finland, and certain Germany, might usher in extra gross sales to Europe because the continent realizes it should defend itself in opposition to the “huge dangerous bear” of Russia.

“Europe has lived for 30 years with a sort of phantasm that it has no safety issues anymore,” mentioned Rubin, who’s now a senior researcher on the Jerusalem Institute for Technique and Safety. “Now that the massive dangerous bear is out searching, all people is scared.”

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Related Press reporter Sam McNeil in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

By Maggi

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