BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) – Iraeli Minister of Settlements Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi stated that Israel opposes selling “even one screw” of advanced aircraft to any country in the Middle East, including the UAE.
Hanegbi, who belongs to the Likud Party and is considered one of the closest allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in an interview with Israeli Radio 103 FM on Tuesday: “We oppose selling even one screw from one (stealth) plane to any country in the Middle East. Regardless of whether peace is between us and her or not. ”
He continued, “This is our position, and it was announced earlier and clarified in recent weeks.”
The minister expressed his belief that even if the United States supplied advanced F-35 aircraft to the Emirates despite Israeli opposition to the deal, it would find a way to ensure Israeli military superiority in the region.
He recalled Washington’s deal with Turkey on the F-35, which was later canceled due to Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
He said, “The Americans are not required to agree to our position. They did not agree to it when they decided to sell the stealth fighters to the Turks, who are not considered our enemy, but who we think we might have some kind of conflict with them.”
Hanegbi denied that the F-35 deal between the United States and the UAE was part of the conditions of the normalization agreement with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had spoken publicly of his opposition to the UAE’s acquisition of advanced American weapons, which caused the cancellation of the Emirati-Israeli-American talks at the United Nations headquarters recently, according to media sources.