What's going on behind the scenes?
What's going on behind the scenes? Reuters

Following media reports that Israel has given its assent to a future arms deal between the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has clarified that contrary to the reports, Israel has not given its assent to any such deal.

“It seems that for many on the left wing and in the media, it’s hard to see an Israeli Prime Minister from the right wing bringing true peace,” he said. “Peace for peace, and not land for peace. So what do they do? They create fake news.

“Unfortunately for them, there are facts to take into account,” Netanyahu continued. “And those facts are that Israel has not given any form of agreement to an arms deal of any kind between the United Arab Emirates and the United States. On the contrary – the United States has promised us time and again that they will preserve Israel’s qualitative advantage whatever the circumstances. These are the real facts,” the Prime Minister insisted.

Among the many reports that have been circulating is one that was published in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper, claiming that the security establishment was not updated on a special clause in the peace agreement with the UAE that authorizes the United States to sell advanced weaponry to the Emirates.

Responding to the report, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Israel’s resilience depends on strictly maintaining an aerial advantage in the Middle East at all times, and I will be concerning myself with making sure this is adhered to, while taking all relevant security concerns into account. We must not take security risks, and I will ensure that our security interests are preserved. It is possible, and indeed necessary, to make a peace agreement while demonstrating responsibility in security matters.”

Regarding the possibility that the United States will be selling F35 fighter planes to the UAE following its agreement with Israel, Gantz said, “The Prime Minister updated me following the decision. Therefore, prior to that I had no way of knowing about anything that hadn’t yet transpired. It’s obviously not good that this airplane should be available to other countries in the region. As long as I am Defense Minister nothing will change on this matter without advance coordination.”

Gantz also commented on the fact that he was only updated regarding the details of the peace agreement close to the time of its release to the general public, saying, “It’s not right that we were not updated on the details of the agreement. Leaks are a game played by others. We will insist on preserving our security interests.”