“Not A Friendly Gesture”; Serbia Criticises Israel For Participating In Military Parade Of Croatian
Serbia deeply disappointed about the participation of Israeli pilots and fighter jets today because "Operation Storm in 1995 was a kind of pogrom"

Israel’s military has raised fury by participating in Croatia’s military parade Sunday to mark 23 years of the country’s victory over Serbia in Operation Storm.

Three Israeli fighter jets participated in a parade marking 1995 Operation Storm, during which some 200,000 Serbs fled their homes and war crimes were committed.

The three F-16D fighter jets of the Israel Air Forces joined Croatian MiG-21 jets and flying over the city of Knin, where the annual victory parade took place.

Israeli jets arrive in Croatia (Photo: Croatian Defense Ministry)

“Serbia is deeply disappointed about the participation of Israeli pilots and fighter jets today because for us Operation Storm in 1995 was a kind of pogrom,” the country’s ambassador to Israel, Milutin Stanojevic, told The Times of Israel.

“It was the biggest exodus of a nation since the Second World War,” Stanojevic said, adding that Israel’s participation in Croatia’s victory celebration “is not a friendly gesture toward Serbia.”

Stanojevic noted that while for the Croatian side, these are days of triumph, for the Serbian side, these are “days of mourning,”. He also added: “We mourn the exodus. More than 2,500 people died. The resting place of many is not known. More than 250,000 people fled Croatia, mostly civilians. This is not the time or the place where another country should be involved.”

Croatian media reported that US officials also attended the ceremonies of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Veterans Day at Knin.

On Thursday, the Israeli jets arrived in Croatia, along with a delivery of used F-16 fighter jets Israel sold Croatia for $750 million.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Saturday that “Hitler wanted a world without Jews; Croatia and its policy wanted a Croatia without Serbs.”

“Usually, other countries do not participate in this event because of the sensitivity of the issue and the different opinions about the historic events,” he said, “For us, Israel is a very friendly country, so it was surprising to see the active participation of two flights in the military exhibition over the historic Serbian town of Knin, that is now empty. This is a deeply disappointing gesture for us.”

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