F-35 stealth fighter
F-35 stealth fighter iStock

The White House has notified Congress that it intends to sell the F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported Thursday.

According to the report, Washington intends to sell 50 of the aircraft to the UAE.

The notification to Congress follows the announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz that Israel would not oppose a US sale of advanced weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates in an apparent reference to F-35 fighter jets.

"The Prime Minister and the Defense Minister both agree that since the US is upgrading Israel's military capability and maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge, Israel will not oppose the sale of these systems to the UAE," they said in a joint statement.

The statement came after Gantz returned from a visit to Washington, where he met with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and signed a deal that ensures Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.

In the wake of the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, the Trump administration has accelerated a push to sell the F-35 stealth fighter and advanced armed drones to the UAE.

After news of the arms sale became public, Netanyahu repeatedly denied that he had given assurances to the Trump administration that Israel would not oppose the Emirati arms deal.

A subsequent New York Times report quoted officials who said that Netanyahu privately went along with the plan for the Trump administration to sell advanced weapons to the United Arab Emirates, despite publicly saying later that he opposed the arms deal.