Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon has announced the scrapping of a multi-billion-dollar arms deal which includes the procurement of six V-22 Osprey aircraft from the US, local media reported Thursday.
The decision to scrap the deal signed last year was taken after Ya’alon was reportedly shunned by Washington officials during his visit to the US.
Ya’alon has cited budgetary constraints as the reason for canceling the deal although speculation is rife that the decision is retaliation for the alleged snub.
A Tuesday report of The Atlantic magazine reported that senior Washington officials used a derogatory term associated with poultry for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alleged that the relationship between the two countries was in crisis.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officials are downplaying the whole issue and were quoted as saying that they’re re-examining the security needs after the Gaza War.
The deal was to include anti-radiation missiles, advanced radars for Israel’s F-15s, KC-135 refueling aircraft and V-22.
The decision to cancel comes three days after Israeli officials said the army would buy a second squadron of US-made F-35 fighter jets.
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