Israel to US: Keep our qualitative military edge

IDF sets up team to examine what Israel will require to maintain its QME following US sale of F-35 planes to UAE.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

צילום: אבי דדון ראש מנהל הרכש. משרד הביטחון

The IDF has set up a team to compile a list of requests that Israel will submit to the United States in order to maintain its qualitative advantage in the Middle East, Israel Hayom reported.

This is in light of the Trump Administration's expected decision to approve the sale of F-35 aircraft and other advanced security equipment to the Emirates, following the normalization agreement to be signed at thew White House this week.

It is believed that Prime Minister Netanyahu will raise the issue with President Trump when he travels to Washington DC for the signing ceremony.

Israel is very concerned about the expected sale of advanced weapons to the UAE, most notably the F-35, a fifth-generation aircraft with stealth capabilities, and which the Israeli Air Force is currently the only air force in the region to possess.

The concern does not stem from fear that the planes will be used against Israel, but from the fear that the sale could lead to an arms race in the region in which advanced weapons will be sold to other countries in a way that will significantly reduce Israel's qualitative advantage. Another concern, which is not being publicly expressed, is that the government in the UAE (or other countries) will be replaced as the government of Iran was in 1979, leaving a government hostile to the State of Israel in control of the advanced weapons.

A senior official stated: "We now enjoy winds of peace, but we live in an unstable area where the wind direction may change rapidly. Therefore we always make sure to be at least one step ahead of any other country in the area, and preferably more than that."