Israel has responded negatively to reports that the recent deal with the United Arab Emirates would pave the way for a “massive” US arms sale to that Gulf state.
President Donald Trump’s administration would like to sell advanced F-35 fighter planes, according to the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
Washington traditionally does not sell weapons to Middle Eastern powers that can alter the balance of power to the detriment of Israel. That country recently reached an agreement with the UAE on normalizing the mutual relationship.
However, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, that does not mean that Israel has now also taken a new stance on arms sales in the region.
Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz (Energy) nuanced the possible consequences of such an arms deal. He said on the radio that his country is unlikely to be at risk if the UAE does manage to get its hands on F-35s.
He pointed out the distance between the countries and noted that Iran would have more reason to be concerned.