Israel does not have many allies in the UN General Assembly. Ukraine also belongs to the opposing camp when it comes to votes on Palestinian issues. The new Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to change that. Air defense systems demanded by Kyiv could play a role in this.

In the Ukraine war, Israel indicates its willingness to possibly deliver weapons to Kyiv after all. As the US news portal Axios reports, the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday evening. During the conversation, Netanyahu is said to have asked Zelenskyy to vote for Israel’s position or abstain from a vote in the UN General Assembly. In return, Selenskyj is said to have asked for Israeli support in defending against Russian missiles and Iranian drones.

The vote was about whether the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague should examine the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, which has been going on since 1967. In an initial vote, Ukraine voted for an audit – out of anger at Israel’s refusal to provide military support to the country against Russia.

According to the report, Netanyahu on Friday wanted to gauge whether Ukraine’s and other governments would be willing to change their minds in order to strengthen Israel’s position on the world political stage. Selenskyj is said to have signaled a basic willingness to provide support. However, since Netanyahu did not want to give a firm commitment to arms deliveries, the Ukrainian president merely instructed his ambassador to the UN General Assembly to stay away from the vote.

Axios quoted an Israeli government representative as saying that Zelenskyi’s decision disappointed Netanyahu. Nevertheless, the leadership in Kyiv is cautiously optimistic that they want to “give the relationship with Netanyahu a chance” – provided that Israel supports the country in fending off Russian airstrikes. Netanyahu is said to have promised Zelenskyy further talks before the UN General Assembly vote. It is not known whether this promise is still valid.

The resolution was eventually adopted by the UN General Assembly with a large majority without the Ukrainian vote: 87 countries voted for an ICJ review of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. 24 countries voted against, 53 abstained. “Like hundreds of other twisted UN General Assembly resolutions against Israel, today’s resolution will not bind the Israeli government,” Netanyahu said publicly afterwards. “The Jewish people do not occupy their land nor occupy their eternal capital, Jerusalem.”