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Ukraine presses to buy Israel's Iron Dome

JERUSALEM (AP):  Ukraine's ambassador is urging Israel to sell its Iron Dome rocket interception system and provide anti-tank missiles to defend civilians against Russia's invasion.

Yevgen Korniychuk on Tuesday stopped short of accusing Israel of blocking the sale of the missile defense system.

But he wants the Israeli government to back up its verbal support for Ukraine with military assistance.

At a news conference in Tel Aviv, he said Ukraine wants to buy the Iron Dome system, contending that the United States would not oppose such a sale.

The United States has been financially supporting Israel's Iron Dome for about a decade, providing about 1.6 billion for its production and maintenance, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets fired into Israel.

Korniychuk also said Israel last week declined a U.S. request for Germany to deliver Israeli-licensed Spike anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.

Israel has limited its support for Ukraine to humanitarian aid and was the only country operating a field hospital inside the country earlier in the year.

Israel fears helping Ukraine militarily would inflame Russia, which has a military presence in neighbouring Syria.

Israel, which carries out frequent strikes on enemy targets in Syria, relies on Russia for security coordination.

The Israeli Defense Ministry had no comment.

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