Earlier this month, long-smoldering conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh made itself felt again. Periodic exchanges of fire on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops have become more intense. During the night of 1 to 2 April, the Azerbaijani side, in response to the continued firing of Azerbaijani villages, has undertook a series of offensive actions, during which several strategic heights were captured, Armenian fire points were suppressed and taken, Armenian military infrastructure in the rear were targeted. On April 5, after the intervention of the Russian side, agreement on a cease-fire was reached. Although, the residents of frontline and border villages still claim that the shelling continues, but fortunately with much less intensity.
The Armenian side and the Armenian Diaspora, rushed to blame Israel and Russia, that the two countries were selling weapons to Azerbaijan. At the same time, these charges were accompanied by delusional statements that ISIS militants are allegedly fighting on the side of Azerbaijan… It should be noted that anti-Semitic attitudes have always been present in the Armenian society. But they are somewhat deteriorated after the events of April 1-5.
Yes, indeed, Azerbaijan has bought and will buy weapons from Israel, Russia, and many other countries. Just like Armenia does (for reference, some weapons Armenia receives from Russia almost for free). I want to emphasize that there are no international sanctions or restrictions on arms sales to Azerbaijan. Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel for many years is of strategic nature, the two countries cooperate in various fields, including in the defense sphere. For a long time, Azerbaijan has been and still is the subject of criticism and pressure from its powerful southern neighbor Iran for cooperation with Israel. But despite this, the cooperation has not been phased out, moreover, it has deepened even more. Against this background, Armenia’s accusations against Israel sound at least ridiculous.
Residents of Israeli border settlements are well aware of what it is like to be constantly under fire, they well understand the conditions of people in Azerbaijan.
It should also be emphasized that all the fighting took place in the territory of Azerbaijan, and Israeli weapons in the course of these actions have been used exclusively in the territory of Azerbaijan. And a reasonable question presents itself: what are the Armenian armed forces doing in the territory of Azerbaijan? At the time, Armenia was helping Iran to carry dual-use items through its territory, circumventing international sanctions. Has Yerevan thought about interests of Israel back then? I want to remind that Iran is a threat not only to Israel but also to Azerbaijan, both countries’ leadership is well aware of it, and this threat is another factor which brings together Azerbaijan and Israel. I sincerely believe that all sorts of protests from the Armenian side are unable to harm relations between Israel and Azerbaijan, and also express my hope that in a short time an Azerbaijan embassy will open in Jerusalem, which will bring two countries even closer together.
Ali Hajizade, political analyst, head of the project “The Great Middle East”