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Moscow Informs Israel That it Does Not Allow the Transfer of Advanced Weapons to Hezbollah - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (EPA)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (EPA)

A number of representatives in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) revealed that Russia officially informed Israel that it has not and will not allow the transfer of its advanced weapons in Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Representatives attributed this statement to Israel’s ambassador to Moscow Zvi Hefetz who made an appearance at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. He is quoted as saying that “Russia gave its word to Israel a few weeks ago that it will not transfer weapons to Hezbollah through its military activity in Syria”. Hefetz was in Israel to participate in the conference of Israeli ambassadors held in Jerusalem, and he is the first ambassador to arrive at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in many years to present a review on relations between Israel and the state that he serves in.

Knesset members who attended the session and asked to remain anonymous said that Ambassador Hefetz informed the committee that in the wake of what was published several weeks ago in the international media about Russia supplying arms to Hezbollah as part of Russia’s military activity alongside Iran and the Assad regime in Syria, Russia’s ambassador to Israel addressed officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry and confirmed that these reports were not true. The Russian ambassador also made it clear that the Russian government conducted internal tests which confirmed that no weapons were transferred from the Russian army in Syria to Hezbollah’s men.

It is noteworthy that the report that Ambassador Hefetz spoke about was published on the American news website Daily Beast which quoted the leaders of Hezbollah as saying that the Russians are transferring ground-to-ground missiles and laser-guided anti-tank missiles produced by Russia. According to the Daily Beast, Russia does not impose any conditions on Hezbollah in exchange for weapons. Russia has asked Hezbollah’s men to protect weapon stores in the Syrian territories in order to allow them access to these weapons without the truth coming to light according to the report.

The ambassador added that according to these leaks, the Russian intervention in Syria was caused by Russian interests and not the result of a personal alliance between Presidents Putin and Assad.