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18 Oct, 2023 14:07

German arms exports to favor Israel over Ukraine – media

The DPA report comes amid Berlin's continued supply of military equipment for Kiev
German arms exports to favor Israel over Ukraine – media

The German government wants to prioritize weapons deliveries to Israel amid its conflict with Hamas, the DPA news agency reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

According to unnamed government officials interviewed by the outlet, “commercial applications from companies for arms exports will be processed and approved with priority given the current situation” in the Middle East. However, the agency did not provide further details on the new policy.

The report comes after Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas, saying that “there is only one place for Germany — that place is at Israel’s side.”

“Our own history, our responsibility arising from the Holocaust, makes it a perpetual task for us to stand up for the security of the state of Israel,” he said last week.

In line with this approach, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said last week that Berlin had returned two Heron combat drones that had been leased by the German military back to Israel, adding that talks were now underway about providing German ammunition to Israeli warships.

Israel has also asked Germany to provide it with protective vests, while Berlin has announced that it would provide medical aid to Israeli service members and examine other assistance requests. Finally, Scholz promised that his country’s authorities would “issue a ban on Hamas activities in Germany.”

On Tuesday, the German chancellor arrived in Tel Aviv in a show of solidarity. During the visit, his delegation had to be evacuated to a bomb shelter due to incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip, according to several media reports.

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, resulting in thousands of dead and injured. According to UN data, as of Tuesday, a total of 4,200 people have been killed in the region due to the hostilities.

Berlin’s push to support Israel comes as it remains a key backer of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, having supplied Kiev with billions of dollars worth of military equipment, including Leopard tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and air defense systems. Moscow has repeatedly condemned Western arms deliveries to Kiev, saying they will only prolong the conflict.