Azerbaijani Aggression Against Artsakh: Israeli Reactions

5 m.   |  2020-10-06

O n October 1, 2020, during the briefing at the Armenian Unified Information Center, the RA Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan officially confirmed the news in the media, that on October 1, two Israeli planes landed in Baku to supply weapons. As a result, the Armenian side responded to it by recalling its ambassador from Israel for consultations. “The Foreign Ministry of Armenia has made a clear statement regarding the sale of armaments to Azerbaijan by Israel, most recently in July at the level of the Foreign Minister, and this issue has always been on our bilateral agenda. For sure, the provision of modern weapons by Israel to Azerbaijan is unacceptable for us. We have repeatedly informed our Israeli counterparts about this through diplomatic channels. It should be noted that it is especially painful at a time when Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey, is carrying out a large-scale aggression against Artsakh and Armenia. Instead, these days, when the whole international community calls on the Azerbaijani side to stop hostilities, the Israeli side continues to supply weapons to Azerbaijan. This kind of actions by the Israeli side are unacceptable for us, especially in this period. Based on the current situation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to recall the Ambassador of Armenia to Israel for consultations” [1].

The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statement in response to Anna Naghdalyan’s statement: “We regret the Armenian decision. Israel attaches importance to our relations with Armenia, and because of this sees the Armenian Embassy in Israel as an important tool for promoting the benefit of both peoples.” [2].

On October 4, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz accused Turkey of denying promotion of peace and supporting regional aggression. This statement was actually directed to the issues of Turkey’s reaction in the context of the Palestine conflict and of the process of normalization of Israeli relations with the Arab countries. Israeli Defense Minister referred to Turkey’s actions in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as to its intervention in Libya’s internal affairs and its contacts with Palestinian Hamas group, however, he didn’t mention the Azerbaijani hostilities against Artsakh, moreover, to the reality of Turkey’s direct involvement in it [3].

On October 2, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper described the issue of supplying state-of-the-art Israeli made weapons to Azerbaijan by strategic cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan: “Azerbaijan exports oil to Israel and imports weapons and military hardware. Furthermore, Azerbaijan borders Iran, which is very important for Israel” [4].

The Source reaffirms that a few days before the hostilities against Artsakh, two Azerbaijani Ilyushin Il-76 cargo planes landed at the Israeli Air Force's Uvda base for replenishing of Azerbaijani forces for the latest bout of fighting. Two more planes landed in Azerbaijan since the fighting began” [5].

On October 3, an article was published in the Jerusalem Post dedicated to the involvement of Syrian mercenaries and terrorist groups enjoying Turkish sponsorship in different conflicts. The article particularly reaffirms that Turkish-sponsored terrorist groups committed war crimes in Northern Syria and currently they moved to Libya and Azerbaijan: “Now hundreds of mercenaries have been sent to Azerbaijan to fight against Armenians” [6].

On October 3, the Jerusalem post made another reference to the Azerbaijani aggression, mainly talking about the Israeli-made LORA operational-tactical missile system used by Azerbaijan against the Armenian forces. The video posted in the publication clearly shows how the Azerbaijani side is shelling the civil transport infrastructures [7].

LORA is manufactured by the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) company, it can be launched both from the sea and land, hits a target in a range of 400 kilometers. According to the source, in the arms deals signed in 2018, Azerbaijan is the first and approved country to be supplied with LORA by Israel [8].

On October 5, the Jerusalem Post touched upon the telephone conversation between the Armenian and Israeli Presidents, where Israeli President Rivlin urged Armenia to return its ambassador to Israel: “We welcome the opening of the Armenian embassy in Israel and hope that the Armenian ambassador will return soon” [9].

The RA President Armen Sarkissian in his turn noted, “The arms sold by Israel to Azerbaijan is used not only for defense, as the Israeli side assured in the past, but also for offensive. This weaponry is actively used to bomb the Armenian settlements and civilian population, causing many casualties and massive destruction. President Sarkissian noted that continued supplies of arms are unacceptable by any standard and underscored that it could seriously undermine the Armenian-Israeli relations. He urged the president of Israel to use his authority with the government to stop the supplies of arms to Azerbaijan immediately. President Armen Sarkissian informed that the concerns and observations of the Armenian side are also expressed in the letter addressed to President Rivlin. President Rivlin expressed readiness together with the government of his country to consider with the utmost seriousness the issues raised by the Armenian side” [10].