Why Does Israel Strongly Oppose a US Arms Sale to the UAE, Despite the Peace Deal?

Published August 20th, 2020 - 06:24 GMT
Why Does Israel Strongly Oppose a US Arm Sale to the UAE, Despite the Peace Deal?
Despite Israeli opposition, the Emiratis have expressed their interest in purchasing the advanced US-made combat aircraft. (AlBawaba)

Only a few days after the press conference in which US President Donald Trump announced a 'historic' peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel on the 13th of August 2020, Israel expressed its opposition to an arms sale in which the US intends to sell F35s to the UAE, sparking a lot of controversies and questions regarding Israel's relations with its new regional 'friends.'

Following the announcement of "Abraham Accord," which is the first peace deal between Israel and an Arab country in 26 years, since Jordan and Israel signed the Wadi Araba Treaty in 1994, the US president told a room full of journalists that Emiratis have expressed their interest in purchasing the advanced US-made combat aircraft. However, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded promptly in rejection of the arms deal.

According to UAE senior officials, the F35s sale is part of the American-sponsored deal of full normalization between their countries and Israel. Yet, Netanyahu's office referred to news of the aircraft's' sale as merely "fake news," stressing that "they have repeatedly opposed any attempts to sell advanced weapons to countries in West Asia, including Arab countries that have full diplomatic ties with Israel."

Analysts think that Israel fears the arms sale could threaten its military advantage in the Middle East, but it remains unclear if the Israeli frank opposition might push the UAE to reconsider establishing full diplomatic ties with Israel, especially as it coincides with a strong sentiment of rejection by Arab unofficial voices, who deemed the deal between the two countries who share no borders as "unnecessary."

Commenting on the Israeli position against the arms deal, the former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk told the Tel Aviv-based TV i24 that "Israel should get over it and realize that this is part of the deal, part of the price of peace."

 


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