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Report: UAE to Get F-35s as Part of Israel Deal
A US Air Force F-35A flies with its weapon-bay doors open during an aerial demo at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona in January 2019. (SrA. Alexander Cook/US Air Force)

Report: UAE to Get F-35s as Part of Israel Deal

Israeli news outlet Ynet reports that in a secret clause in the American-brokered agreement to establish diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Israel dropped its opposition to the sale of Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth multirole fighter jets to the Gulf state. US and Emirati sources say the sale was a condition for the Israel-UAE deal imposed by Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Emirates’ de facto ruler. In the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the United States gave Israel assurances that it would refrain from selling its most advanced strategic weapons systems to Arab countries without Israeli agreement, in order to help maintain Israeli military superiority in the region. Israel was the first nation outside of the United States to have a fleet of operationally capable F-35s, and the plane’s first use in combat was by the Israeli Air Force in 2018. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office was quoted as saying that there had been no change in Israel’s position on the sale of strategic weapons to Arab nations. In 2019, the US Congress blocked efforts by President Donald Trump to sell such weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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