TEL AVIV (Jul. 21)
The Israel Defense Force has begun appointing military attaches to Israeli diplomatic missions in former communist countries.
Lt. Col. Ze’ev Gilkis has been appointed military attache at the Israeli Embassy in Poland, becoming the first Israeli military representative in a former Communist country.
The decision to exchange military attaches was made in April, when IDF Chief of Staff Ehud Barak visited Poland and met with his Polish counterpart.
Gilkis will also serve as head of the Defense Ministry delegation to Poland, a job primarily intended to promote sales of Israeli defense equipment.
The IDF is also considering the dispatch of a military attache to India, assuming the New Delhi government agrees.
The officer would be able to help Israel express its opposition to India’s military support of Arab countries, following reports earlier this year that India had supplied Syria with a Soviet made nuclear reactor.
Military sources say the issue of naming an attache to the Israeli Embassy in Moscow has not yet been resolved.
An agreement with Russia exists, but the Russians are insisting that a military attache in Moscow should have the rank of major general, similar to that of the military attache in Washington, rather than a brigadier general, as proposed by the IDF.