Merkava tank


Israel refused to sell Merkava tanks to Cyprus due to colossal losses in the war with Hamas

The Israeli Ministry of Defense has sharply changed its foreign policy line on the issue of arms sales, canceling an earlier decision to supply Merkava III tanks to Cyprus and Morocco. This change of plans is a departure from a pre-agreed arrangement under which Israel would transfer dozens of its tanks from reserves in response to Cyprus' transfer to Ukraine of 40 T-80 tanks previously purchased from Russia.

This scheme was seen as an indirect way for Israel to support Ukraine through third countries, since Israel traditionally refrains from directly supplying weapons to conflict zones. However, as Israeli media now report, the decision was revised based on an assessment of the needs of its own armed forces.

In the latter case, the key reason is the loss of a large number of Merkava tanks on the battlefield. Taking into account the data of the Hezbollah and Hamas groups, Israel has already lost 74 tanks of this type, which is about 20% of the total number of combat vehicles of this type in service with the Israeli army.

The Israeli command argues that even tanks that have been in storage for a long time may be needed to increase the country's defensive readiness. It is expected that at least 48 Merkava III tanks will be returned from mothballing to form a reserve tank battalion, called "Of Hol".


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