Report: US blocks F-16 sale to Croatia

US reportedly furious at deal for Israel to sell old American-made F-16s to Croatia.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

F-16 fighter jet
F-16 fighter jet
Flash 90

The US is reportedly holding up a deal to sell old Israeli F-16s to Croatia, according to Channel 10 News reported Barak Ravid.

""The Trump government is blocking the sale of the 12 old F-16s to the Croatian army," senior Israeli officials told me," Ravid wrote. The value of the deal is estimated to be half a billion dollars

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced this deal in March of this year after a meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister. Three weeks ago, however, messages began to be received in Israel that the Americans were blocking the deal and not allowing Israel to sell the planes Israel had originally purchased from them to Croatia.

According to the senior officials, the Americans are angry that in order to defeat the US in the Croatian army tender, Israel added to the old American planes advanced electronic systems manufactured by Israel to persuade the Croats to buy from it.

The Americans claimed that Israel acted unfairly and that it made a profit on the back of the US. The Americans explained this by saying that American planes were not supposed to be sold to a third party without American approval, let alone in competition with the US.

The senior Israeli officials noted that the Croats were also furious that the deal had stalled. Senior Croatian officials have recently conveyed messages to Israel that it must resolve the dispute with the Americans as soon as possible

Netanyahu raised the issue of the F-16 crisis in a meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo in Brussels on Monday. Senior Israeli officials noted that Pompeo told Netanyahu: "I am in favor, but Defense Secretary Mattis is against it - he is the one who is blocking it."

Netanyahu's office refused to comment. The Foreign Office in Washington said: "No comment." The US Department of Defense has not yet responded.


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