Reports about a side agreement of sale of F-35 and advanced drones between United States and United Arab Emirates has come as a shock to Israel, which claims to have been kept in the dark. The sale, which could reduce Israel’s military advantage in Middle East, was a condition of the emerging normalization agreement between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi that was brokered by Washington.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Trump said the UAE was interested in buying F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp, which Israel has used in combat.
“They’d like to buy F-35’s, we’ll see what happens, it’s under review.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, citing a need to maintain Israeli military superiority in the region, said on Tuesday his country would oppose any US F-35 sales to the UAE.
However, a senior Emirati official told the Ynet news site on Tuesday night that allowing the sale to go through was part of the normalization process, if not enshrined in the yet-to-be-drafted agreement, and that Netanyahu was personally aware of it.