YEREVAN. – Israeli-Azerbaijani relations will not be affected by the recent scandal over Israeli drone producer who was told to attack the Armenian military on behalf of Azerbaijan, Israeli journalist Yossi Melman told Armenian News-NEWS.am.
Earlier this year journalist and writer Yossi Melman published an article in Maariv newspaper saying that Israeli defense ministry was investigating the complaint saying Israel-based Aeronautics Defense Systems refused to demonstrate the capabilities of new drones on Armenian targets as requested by Azerbaijan.
“I do not think geopolitical situation in your area has changed. Israeli-Azeri relations are not affected by this particular case. This does not affect the overall relations and would not affect in the long run, it is an isolated case of a company. I would put it differently, Azerbaijan is very important for Israel, but this case is so outrageous, that even the defense ministry realized that they cannot turn a blind eye,” Mr. Melman said.
He mentioned that Azerbaijani side tried to say that the case “is poisoning the relations”, but Israeli side explained that “we are a democratic society and we cannot interfere with the investigation.”
On Monday it was revealed that Israeli police have opened a criminal investigation against an Israeli drone manufacturer. News of the investigation came out as an Israeli court approved a gag order for the case, constraining the information that can be spread about it.
The journalist said that the probe started in late July when the defense ministry started to investigate the case. He believes the Israeli authorities realized that it is a complex investigation, and it is not only about breaching the terms of the license, but may be something bigger.
“As to the gag order by court, I think it is a theater of absurd. The gag order will operate until March and will forbid Israeli media to report about the case. I think the gag order would be challenged by Israeli media outlets,” he emphasized.
Mr. Melman said he had become a public enemy in Azerbaijan, and was even called “an agent of Armenia” on one of Azerbaijani websites.
“I am demanding an apology. They said I am corrupt journalist and received bribes from Armenian lobby. I would take them to court for defamation and I would demand compensation,” he said.
The journalist added that unless he receives an apology from Azerbaijani website, he would take the case to the British court.