Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu privately approved America’s sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, despite coming out against the deal publicly, the New York Times reported late yesterday, citing officials familiar with the negotiations.
According to the report, Netanyahu chose not to try to block the deal during talks to establish diplomatic ties with the UAE.
Breaking News: Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have gone along with U.S. arms sales to the UAE amid Israeli-Emirati talks before publicly opposing the deal. https://t.co/qsQt6tldSb
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 3, 2020
On August 13, Israel and the UAE have reached a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel in an agreement that US President Donald Trump reportedly helped broker.
After the diplomatic agreement was announced, the Trump administration pushed an arms deal with the UAE that would include the purchase of F-35 stealth fighters and armed drones, according to the Times.
The US deal also reportedly includes a previously-unreported shipment of EA-18G Growler jets, an electronic warfare plane that can jam enemy air defenses, the paper added.
However, in a statement, Netanyahu’s office said the agreement did not include “any approval by Israel on any arms deal between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.” Arms deals to the Middle East must be approved by Congress.
“The peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates does not include any clause in this regard, and the United States made it clear to Israel that it will always ensure that Israel gets the qualitative advantage,” he added.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)