Israel to Oppose F-35 jets Sale to UAE, Maintain Qualitative Military Edge

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:44 AM, August 18, 2020
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Israel to Oppose F-35 jets Sale to UAE, Maintain Qualitative Military Edge
Israeli Air Force F-35I “Adir” stealth fighter jets

Israel’s active lobbying against the United States selling F-35 stealth jets to the U.A.E. will continue despite the Israel-U.A.E. peace deal which was hammered out recently.

The deal, brokered by Washington, supports transfer advanced American and Israeli defense technology to Abu Dhabi. However, senior Israeli officials told Haaretz on Monday that the normalization agreements will not change Israel’s long-standing objection to the sale of jets to the Gulf state.

Israel’s quest to preserve military qualitative edge in the region was also reportedly the reason behind its lobbying against F-35 sale to Turkey.

Several sources who had been previously involved in contacts between the two countries raised concerns that as part of the new understandings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have now abandoned Israel’s vehement opposition to the sale of sensitive military equipment and technology to the UAE, particularly the F-35.

Gulf states had pressed the Israeli camp numerous times to lift its objections pertaining to F-35 sale, sources said.

Israel to Oppose F-35 jets Sale to UAE, Maintain Qualitative Military Edge

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin tweeted Friday: “It is important to remember that Abu Dhabi seeks to acquire very sophisticated weapons from the United States... It is important to ensure that such a process will include Israel’s [Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry] and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) if it will result in the reduction of Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge or QME.”

Previously, Netanyahu authorized the sale of ThyssenKrupp advanced submarines and warships to Egypt without updating the defense minister and IDF chief of staff. Israel had been fervently opposing the deal, but the leader reportedly gave the go-ahead in exchange for a discount of half a billion shekels ($142 million) on the purchase of Israel’s sixth submarine from the German firm.

Although Germany does not require Israeli permission to sell its ships to other countries, it has traditionally refrained from doing so to give Israel dominance in the region.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that in the talks, Israel “has not changed its consistent positions against the sale of tie-breaking arms and advanced defense technologies to any state in the Middle East.”

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